Top 5 performers In Indian Women's League this season
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The second season of the tournament was another important milestone for women's football in India.
The Indian Women's League (IWL) successfully concluded its second season only a few days ago. The final saw underdogs Rising Student's Club defeating the then defending champions Eastern Sporting Union to lift their maiden trophy in Shillong. While the result was a bit surprising for many, the league season itself was excellent as the women proved their mettle by playing some beautiful football and showcasing how far Indian women's football has developed over the years.
It was a really thrilling month of football for the ladies, who played their hearts out to help their teams and also prove a point about how the female footballing scene is evolving in the country right now. However, there were some particular players who stood out from the rest because of how vital they were to the success of their own teams.
We take a look at the top five performers in the Indian Women's League this season.
5. Panthoi Chanu (Eastern Sporting Union)
India's goalkeeping resources have shone through at every level over the past few years and they showed similar potential in the IWL this season as well. Eastern Sporting Union's Panthoi Chanu had a brilliant campaign under the bars for the Manipuri club. In an unpredictable league where attacking football was rampant, Chanu kept three clean-sheets in six games and made some important saves, preserving valuable points for her side.
She also gave a great performance in the semi-final when she kept out Sethu FC and helped ESU record a comfortable 2-0 victory to progress to the final. Despite having a great outing in the penalty shootout in the final against RSC in which she made three saves, she saw her teammates being unable to bury their own spot-kicks and win the match. Chanu was awarded the Best Goalkeeper of The Season after the tournament and definitely staked a claim for a spot in the national team.
4. Prameshwari Devi (Eastern Sporting Union)
The Eastern Sporting Union ace was awarded the Most Valuable Player of The Season
Eastern Sporting Union had a very good season in the IWL apart from the final debacle and played some beautiful football. A huge part of their display was the brilliance of Prameshwari Devi, who was the spark in their attack. She was a direct threat for the other teams because of her trickery and instincts, which made her very potent for ESU.
Devi started ESU's season on a high by scoring a brace in their first match against Indira Gandhi AS&E and continued her impressive form throughout the season. She showed a lot of promise in attack because of her pace, ball control and eye for goal and even scored a goal in the semi-finals against Sethu. While she was unlucky to be on the losing side in the final, she did get awarded the Most Valuable Player of The Season for her excellent campaign.
3. Sanju Yadav (Rising Student FC)
RSC pulled off the ultimate underdog tale when they lifted the IWL title at the end. Although, nobody had expected them to defeat the likes of KRYHPSA or ESU after finishing fourth in the league stage. But, they showed a lot of grit to get past these teams and someone who embodied that grit was their forward Sanju Yadav who was an important part of their team this season.
Yadav scored three goals in the season, but they were pretty important goals as she scored the pivotal equalizer in the final to give Rising Student some hope. She also buried her penalty to boost their confidence in the shootout and played a big role in motivating her team throughout the season. It was her passionate work in attack which had a positive influence on her team which.
2. Dangmei Grace (KRYHPSA)
KRYHPSA played some stunning football throughout the season in the IWL and they finished the league stages at the top having scored an amazing 24 goals in six matches. Grace was an important part of their blistering attacking football which blew away most of the teams, with her goalscoring ability helping them a lot. Grace showed her striker instincts throughout the tournament, scoring four goals for KRYHPSA and linking up well with her more experienced teammates.
She also showed a lot of creativity in creating chances for her team and continued to be an absolute menace for KRYHPSA's opponents. While Grace couldn't lift the IWL title with her team in the end, she did win the Emerging Player of The Season award for her heroics in what was a prolific season for herself.
1. Bala Devi (KRYHPSA)
Bala Devi scored 12 goals for KRYHPSA in the Indian Women's League
Bala Devi was arguably the most experienced woman playing in the IWL this season. It was only fitting for Devi to kickoff KRYHPSA's season with a bang when she scored the first goal of the campaign for them and would go on to score many more against all oppositions.
She maintained a spectacular goalscoring record which proved why she has been India's #1 forward for many years now. The national team captain scored 12 goals in six games for her club, which included four against Indira Gandhi AS&E. In the season, her goals accounted for 50% of KRYHPSA's tally. While Devi was unlucky to bow out in the semi-finals, she ended the tournament as the top scorer and proved how she's still at the top of her game with an amazing outing for the Imphal outfit.
Published: Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:13 PM IST