Gothia Cup

A whole new world for SC Nagalands Indian girls

SC Nagaland scored the equalizer in the last second of the game against Åhus and could celebrate their first point in the tournament. But for the girls in the team from India, which all come from poor and tough conditions, the trip to Gothenburg itself feels like a victory. ”This is a life time experience and I’m very happy to be here”, says Meren who scored the goal that meant 2-2.

On the border to Myanmar, in the eastern part of India, Nagaland district is located. An exposed area where many people living their life with limited resources. Several of the girls in SC Nagaland are orphans and they live together in a hostel, run by the Nagalands local government. It’s the government in collaboration with Soccer Competition Asia that has made the trip to Gothenburg possible. Most of the girls had never been outside Nagaland, now they’re 5500 miles from home. The team plays in ’Girls 15’ but a couple of the girls are only 13 years old. Medokhono is one of the players in the team.
”It was the first time I was in an airplane when we travelled here, it was a little bit scary but also fun. I really like Gothenburg, it’s nice and everyone is very friendly”, she says.

The government in Nagaland trying in different ways to make life better for kids and adolescents that have tough social conditions. The girls hostel is an exempel of that. Besides football – taekwondo, archery and wrestling is also provided for them at the hostel. On school days they walk together to the nearby school.
”We get to learn a lot and not least play a lot of football. I think it’s both fun and exciting with football, Medokhono says.

Medokhono and Meren.

One of the teams coaches are surprisingly enough, a swede. Sebastian Rasmussen has a background as football coach in the the Swedish district of Skåne and through Soccer Competition Asia he has been in India working with the girls since march.
”Coming to Gothenburg means so much for them. This a whole new world, it’s hard for us to imagine what they’re experiencing, he says.

The team had a tough start of the tournament with two losses and no goals scored. But that changed in the game against Swedish team Åhus. SC Nagalands captain Meren, who has similarities to a certain Marta both in her playing stile and looks, displayed some great plays with here excellent technique throughout the game and when she scored her goal in the very last second the joy among the Nagaland players knew no boundaries. 
”I’m almost speechless because that moment was like a dream for me, Meren says as she try to describe her feelings.

SC Nagaland play against Hanvikens SK 1 in Play off B tomorrow at 1.30 pm at Grimbo. Medokhono hopes that the team besides score more goals also will win their first game.
”It’s most important to have fun but the result also matters. We would really like to win tomorrow, she says with a smile.

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