In a decisive match of the North-East Sentinels Cup (Women) 2024 Championship, Nagaland’s represented club, Naga Damsels, bowed out of the tournament, conceding 4 goals to nil against the championship favorites, the Director General Assam Rifles (DGAR) team, on Monday here at Sonitpur, Assam.

Nagaland football
The Nagaland women’s team before the Sentinel Cup (Women) 2024 semifinal match at Sonitpur, Assam.

The tournament was organized by Assam Rifles, with teams from North Eastern states including Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, and one team from the Director General Assam Rifles Women Football Team participating in the championship.

The semifinal clash saw DGAR, a team composed of star players, many of whom have represented the Indian national team, dominate the field. The young Nagaland team, lacking experience, failed to make much of an impression, ending their journey in the tournament. The team was led by DYRS state football coach Kevilebei Zashumo and manager Viliebeizo Liezietsu.

AFC C license holder and club manager Liezietsu, sharing his experience, highlighted a critical issue by citing the lack of women’s tournaments in the state. This absence results in a noticeable gap in experience and confidence when facing top-tier teams.

“The girls gave their all but lost to a better team,” Keren remarked, stressing the need for more exposure to competitive matches to build experience and confidence. He added that the semifinal outcome underscores the necessity for increased support and opportunities for women’s football in Nagaland. With more competitive exposure, teams like Nagaland could develop the skills and confidence needed to compete at higher levels, said the manager.

As the championship progressed, Arunachal Pradesh beat Assam 3-0 in the second semifinal. Arunachal Pradesh will now play DGAR in the finals at ARTC, Shillong, on July 12. All eyes are on the upcoming final in Shillong, where the DGAR team aims to secure another title.


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