Indian trio plays starring role in ZNK Dinamo Zagreb's triumph

This was the club's maiden top-division trophy
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 14:25 IST

Follow Us :


Bengaluru: Three Indian women footballers -- Jyoti Chauhan, MK Kashmina and Kiran Pisda -- helped their club ZNK Dinamo Zagreb clinch the Croatian Women's Football Cup on Saturday. 

This was the club's maiden top-division trophy. The side from the Croatian capital defeated ZNK Osijek in the summit clash 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the SRC Mladost ground in Cakovec.

Osijek have won the Croatian Women's Football Cup a record 19 times, and had remained unbeaten throughout the domestic season prior to the final against Dinamo.

Kashmina, the 25-year-old midfielder from Manipur, came off the bench in the 87th minute to slot in the winning penalty under immense pressure and triggered wild celebrations.

"The way we won this cup was special. Our club had never won it before, and the manner in which we won it right at the end, simply makes it all the more memorable," Kashmina told AIFF.

“I’ve scored a few goals in the IWL as well, but winning here in Croatia, with the three of us playing an important role in the team, it really feels like we have created history for our club,” added Kashmina.

Kashmina, who possesses good technical ability and control while dribbling, scored for Dinamo in the semifinal against ZNK Gorica.

Kashmina won her first Indian Women's League title with Eastern Sporting Union in 2017, before helping Gokulam Kerala lift two more IWL titles.

A National Games winner, Kashmina was bogged down by an ankle injury in early 2023, and was left to train by herself when ethnic conflicts broke out throughout Manipur.

In June 2023, several European clubs held trials in Kolkata in a bid to scout Indians, and Kashmina was one of the two players who were signed by Dinamo out of 27 shortlisted, the other being Kiran Pisda. 

Kiran, aged 23, plays predominantly on the left wing and holds the distinction of being the first player from Chhatisgarh to feature in the Indian women's national team.

Kiran featured for Kerala Blasters and Sethu FC in the IWL, and played the entirety of the final against Gorica.

Jyoti Chauhan, along with Soumya Guguloth, served as trailblazers after becoming the first Indian women's players to feature for a Croatian top-division side.

Jyoti created history last year when she became the first Indian footballer to score a hat-trick in Europe when she netted thrice in quick succession for Dinamo against ZNK Agram in the final league game of the Croatian Women's League.

Jyoti also holds the distinction of being the first Indian to score a goal in the Croatian top flight, and dispatched her penalty with disdain on Saturday.

The 24-year-old hails from Madhya Pradesh and is a regular starter for the national team, and renewed her contract with Dinamo for another year back in August 2023.

She previously turned out for Gokulam Kerala in the IWL, and scored the opening goal in her side's 4-1 win against ZNK Medimurje Cakovec in the quarterfinal of the Croatian Women's Football Cup.

“Winning the Croatian Women’s Football Cup is a huge achievement for us all. Not only is it the first time our club has won it, but what makes this win even better is that we had lost the final last season, and now have come back to win our first title,” said Jyoti.

Apart from Kashmina, Kiran and Jyoti, Indian women footballers have been creating waves with their contributions for other overseas clubs.

Manisha Kalyan won the Cypriot First Division title with Apollon Ladies DC in 2022-23, and scored a goal in the 2023-24 UEFA Women's Champions League, the first by an Indian in the competition.

Dangmei Grace did the Uzbek Women's League and Cup double with FC Nasaf. 

Published 24 June 2024, 14:25 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us