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IWL 2019: Sabitra Bhandari fires four as Sethu FC stroll to 4-6 win

Amrutha Arvind's women kicked their Indian Women's League campaign off perfectly at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana as they romped home to a 4-6 victory over Manipur Police Sports Club.

Sabitra Bhandari scored four goals, all in first forty-five minutes. Her fellow teammate Dangmai Grace also grabbed herself a brace as Sethu FC forgot their scoring problems, with a 4-6 win over Manipur Police Sports Club on Monday.

A rapid start for Sethu FC

The game couldn't have got off to a better start for Sethu FC, who went 1-0up inside 29 seconds. One became two not long after. A fantastic cross toinside the box found Sabitra. Given the space she was in, the Nepal International buried it home first-time to give 2-0 lead in the 16th minute.

Manipur's first evidence of their threat going forwards came after 20 minutes, when they pulled one back to get back into the game after amishap in the Sethu box leads to an own goal by goalkeeper Sowmiya.

Goal, goals, goals

But Sethu FC didn't have to wait much longer to add a third, as Sabitragrabbed first-half treble. A lovely passing move allowed by Grace to sneakthe ball into the No.9, who confidently finished past the Manipur keeper Panthoi Chanu.

However, just as had been the case in a see-saw first period and just asSethu FC looked to managing the game, the Police made it 2-3, as Bala Devisoars into the Sethu box and plonks it over the keeper to keep MPSC in thechase. The first half ended 2-3 to Sethu FC.

A lively second half and a Grace brace

Those final 45 minutes began as the first had ended, with Amrutha Arvind'swomen in the ascendancy. A quickfire volley from Dangmai Grace extendedthe advantage.

Although Manipur Police did well to respond and stay calm after conceding,they flocked forward in numbers and Chanu got on the scoresheet to makeit 3-5.

From then on, madness ensued. Both sides had glorious chances - BalaDevi and Grace both went close - but with Sethu FC looking dangerous inpossession and equally as threatening on the counter-attack, there wasalways room for more goals.

With the game wearing down, Sethu FC continue to push toward goal andin return, Grace doubled her tally in the 74th minute before Bala Devigrabbed her second goal of the game in added minute of the second half,but it was too little, too late for Manipur Police.

The game ended 4-6 and was a good chance for Sethu FC to buildconfidence ahead of the tougher tests to come. They will be confident ofkeeping that going up. Sabitra, of course, will be happy with the first-halfruthlessness that her side showed. Despite the scoreline, the best is yet tocome from Sethu FC.