Shillong, March 26 (IANS) Defending champions Eastern Sporting Union started on a winning note as they beat Indira Gandhi Academy for Sports & Education 3-2 in the opening fixture of the Indian Womens League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Monday.
ESU took the lead in the 25th minute through Kashmina before Paromita equalised in the 43rd for IGASE.
Two goals from Prameshwori in the 47th and 59th minutes were the difference makers with Sandhiya scoring the 2nd goal for IGASE in the 48th.
Eastern Sporting Union (ESU) started out strongly as they strung together a wave of attacks. Prameshwori and Kashmina combined well to trouble the IGASE backline.
Sweety came close with her free-kick in the 16th minute, which just brushed the crossbar on its way out before Prameshwori forced a save out of goalie Crystal in the 20th.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 25th when Kashmina hit the back of the net. A goal line save by Anjali in the 31st kept the score line intact as IGASE struggled to contain the wave of attacks.
A chance for an equaliser came in the 42nd minute when IGASE were given a penalty but Sandhiya scuffed the shot for Panthoi to make an easy save. A minute later though Paromita made the most of a goal mouth melee to make it 1-1 as the teams headed into half-time.
The second half began with a bang as Prameshwori struck with a wonderful strike in the 47th minute to make it 2-1. The celebrations though were short lived as Sandhiya made up for her scuffed penalty to equalise in the 48th.
The goal revitalised the team from down South as Sandhiya, Pradeepa and Radhika gave a lot of trouble to the ESU back line. Umapati Devi and Manisa Panna were forced to make a lot of crucial interceptions to keep the strikers at bay.
Goalkeeper Panthoi was also kept on her toes with a couple of crucial saves off Sandhiya and Pradeepa. Then, almost against the run of play Prameshwori struck from a distance. Her long ranger bulged the back of the net in the 59th minute.
Thereafter IGASE came close a couple of times but the ESU defenders stood firm at the back. Sulatana had a chance to put the match to bed in the 91st but her shot went wide as the game finished 3-2 in favour of the defending champions.
Eastern Sporting Union next play Rising Students Club on March 28 while Indira Gandhi Academy SE take on India Rush SC on the same day.