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Manipur thrash Bengal

Hyderabad: Defending champions Manipur gave ample demonstration of their class, thrashing Bengal 8-0 in their women’s soccer opening match in the National Games here Thursday.

Displaying awesome domination in all departments of the game, Manipur scored four goals in each half to put it across their rivals who looked in trouble throughout the 90-minute encounter at the police ground.

While Tababi Devi struck thrice, former Indian skipper Bembem Devi scored a brace, and Geetarani Devi, Sh Rani Chanu and the veteran Chaoba Devi netted a goal apiece in the group A league encounter.

With the group reduced to a three-team affair after the last-minute withdrawal of Tripura, Manipur now look virtually assured of a semi-final placing as they take on a weak Assam in their final group-league engagement on December 16.

Bengal, who finished with a bronze in the last edition of the games at Punjab, had to do with a relatively younger side as eight of their regulars, including goalkeeper Ranjita Khan, were unavailable.

“We missed star goalkeeper Ranjita Khan,”a disappointed Bengal coach Shukla Dutta said.

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