Itanagar: The sub-junior girls’ football team of Arunachal Pradesh is just a match away from being crowned champions of the Hero Sub-junior Girls’ National Football Championship, currently underway in Cuttack, Odisha.
The Arunachal team, which has already made history by reaching the finals of the coveted tournament for the first time, pipped a strong Gujarat team by four goals to nil in the second semi-finals played on Tuesday.
The team, however, will be up against a determined Jharkhand team in the finals which is scheduled for June 20. Jharkhand reached the finals after defeating its neighbours Bihar in the first semi-finals.
Arunachal Pradesh faced stiff opposition with the likes of Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh being in their group. Having made it out of their group, Arunachal eased their way past Tamil Nadu in the quarter finals with a 3-0 victory.
Tallo Ana has been their most impressive player for Arunachal, and is in contention for the highest scorers’ award, having scored 12 goals from four games.
Meanwhile, Bihar had to face two of the toughest sides on their way to the semis. They were grouped with Manipur and Delhi.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu was the first to congratulate the team for the victory. “More power to our girls! Congratulations and best wishes to Arunachali sub-junior girls football team for entering the final of the Hero Sub Junior Girls’ National Football Championship 2019 being held at Cuttack. Praying for our team to win the championship!” Khandu tweeted.
Arunachal Pradesh Football Association secretary Kipa Ajay, who has played a pivotal role in forming and training the Arunachali team, said he has never been more proud of his girls. “The girls have given it all to reach this stage which has not been easy. I urge the people of Arunachal to support them and remember them in their prayers,” Ajay said.