Young striker Manisha Kalyan has become 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.
Kalyan replaced Cyprus’ Marilena 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 on Thursday.
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The 20-year-old had emerged as the fourth Indian women’s international footballer to sign for an overseas club when she landed a multi-year contract with Cypriot top division winners Apollon Ladies.
Kalyan had produced impressive performances for the national team and Gokulam Kerala in the Indian Women’s League (IWL). She was recently awarded the AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year for the 2021-22 season.
Kalyan had shot to fame last year when she scored against former World Cup runners-up Brazil in their own den during an international friendly. She is the second player from Gokulam Kerala to sign for an overseas club after Dangmei Grace joined Uzbek outfit FC Nasaf.
Apollon Ladies will next play FC Zurich Frauen on August 21.