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In a proud moment for India, young striker Manisha Kalyan became the first Indian footballer to play at the UEFA Women's Champions League when she made her debut for Apollon Ladies FC in the European Club competition in Engomi, Cyprus, according to news agency PTI. 

Kalyan on Thursday replaced Cyprus' Merilena Georgiou in the 60th minute at the Makareio Stadium, as Apollon Ladies FC beat Latvian top flight club SFK Riga 3-0 in their UWCL opener. She has become the fourth Indian woman footballer to sign for an overseas club.

Following this epic moment, an Indian football star hailed Manisha Kalyan for her achievement on his official Twitter handle. “Tracking the updates where Manisha Kalyan becomes the first Indian footballer to play in a Champions League game. What a moment, and what a hero. What she's gone and done needs to be spoken about louder," he wrote. 

“We congratulate #BlueTigresses attacker@ManishaKalyan4, who made her UEFA Women's Champions League debut with @AppollonLadiesFC against SFK Riga in the qualifiers last night. Many more steps to go," Indian Football Team tweeted. 

She had given impressive performances for the national team and Gokulam Kerala in the Indian Women's League (IWL). Recently, she was also awarded the AIFF Woman Footballer of the year for the 2021-22 season, as per PTI reports.

The 20-year-old, Manisha Kalyan had shot to fame last year when she scored against former World Cup runners-up, Brazil in their own den.

In November 2021, the 20-year-old had become the first ever Indian footballer to score a goal in the AFC Women's Club Championship. She is also the second player from Kerala's Gokulam to sign for an overseas club after Dangmei Grace joined Uzbek outfit FC Nasaf.

Recently, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) banned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) citing "flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes". In a major setback for football in India, the world football governing body suspended India for "undue influence from third parties" and said the U-17 Women's World Cup "cannot currently be held in India as planned."

 

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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