Hosts Karnataka got off to a rollicking start as they trounced Gujarat 9-1 at the KSFA Stadium as the group stage of the 27th Senior Women's National Football Championships got underway here on Wednesday.
In the morning session, Manipur defeated Bihar 5-0. Salam Bina Roy Devi scored three goals while Lynda Kom netted twice for Manipur.
Gujarat gave Karnataka an early fright as they came close to scoring within the first six minutes. Dinsha Patel sprinted into the box but was tackled in time by stopper Aruna Bag at the expense of an abortive corner.
But Karnataka virtually steamrolled their opponents after that let off. They indulged in a fast-paced game and ran Gujarat off their feet and scored at will to wrap up a 8-0 before half time.
Their tall striker Maitreyi Palasundaram struck five goals while Kaviya Pakkirisamy netted twice and Monalisa Marandi found the net once in the first half itself.
It was the diminutive left winger Sonia Marak who played a very decisive and unselfish role in Karnataka's goal-scoring acts. She provided passes on a platter for Maitreyi to finish off with aplomb. Once of course the Gujarat team made a blunder as wing back Priyanka Bhil rolled the ball across after getting it from goalkeeper Tanvi Mavani but Maitreyi got to it and filled an empty net. But for some daring saves by Tanvi, Gujarat might have conceded more goals.
Karnataka's dominance continued in the second half as the Gujarat defence found the attack too sharp and hot to handle. But Karnataka took things easy and did not force the pace. They managed to score one more when Maiteryi netted another in injury time of the second half. Gujarat, earlier, pulled one back when Khushbu Saroj found the target with a neat finish. But they could do little more.