Panthers and Cheetahs settle for a draw in their final match of the tournament

Subhash Chakraborty’s Panthers and Oinam Bembem Devi’s Cheetahs played out an end-to-end 1-1 draw in their last fixture of the Hero Under-17 Women’s Championship held at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium. Bembem Devi’s side took the lead on Friday when Drishti Pant slotted home a neat finish in the 12th minute. The Panthers, though, clawed their way back to equalize in the 39th minute.

  • Cheetahs broke the deadlock via Drishti Pant in the 12th minute.
  • Laxmi Mandavi pounced on a Vruddhi Raisinghani mistake to equalize in the 39th minute.
  • Both teams had a few half chances in the second period but failed to convert and settled for a draw.

The fixture got off to a blistering start as Panthers forward Laishram Rejiya Devi was put through on goal by midfielder Lalnun Siami. However, she failed to find the right connection, with her effort not even asking a save of Vruddhi Raisinghani.

Ten minutes later, Chakraborty’s side were made to pay for failing to take that chance, as the Cheetahs opened the scoring via a close-range finish from Drishti, who reacted quickest to a long ball played in by Durga K.

For a considerable period after that strike, Bembem Devi’s Cheetahs enjoyed a decent spell of dominance, with the combination of Malavika P and PC Lalhmingmawii doing most of the damage. Durga, Ritu Ritu and Lalhmingmawii all had attempts of their own in and around the 30th-minute mark, but none of them could double Cheetahs’ advantage, which would go on to hurt them six minutes from the break.

Panthers skipper, Sudha Ankita Tirkey swung in a delicious cross that troubled Raisinghani, who fumbled it into the path of Mandavi. Needless to say, Mandavi made no mistake as she slotted home to level the scoreline going into half-time.

In the first 10 minutes after the restart, both the teams showcased good attacking intent, but failed to get past each other’s defence. Harmilan Kaur had a decent attempt for the Cheetahs in the 57th minute, while Rejiya and Gladys tried their luck from the Panthers end after the hour mark. Each of those efforts, however, didn’t disturb the scoreline.

Both units kept up their efforts to sneak in an advantage as the match headed towards the last quarter. The Panthers looked the more likely to do so, but inefficiency in the final third meant both teams had to settle for a draw.

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