Apollon Ladies FC’s Manisha Kalyan becomes the first Indian to play in UEFA Women’s Champions League

Weeks after signing for Apollon Ladies FC, Indian forward Manisha Kalyan made her debut for the Cyprus champions in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Thursday, August 18. She became the first Indian to play in the European club competition.

In Round 1 of the UWCL Qualifiers, Apollon squared off against Latvian club Rigas FS. The club from the Island of Love registered a clinical 3-0 victory. In the next round, they will face the winners of Switzerland’s FC Zurich and Faroe Island’s Klaksvik Kvinnur.

Manisha came on as a substitute, replacing Marilena Georgiou at the hour-mark. By then, Apollon were already 2-0 up, thanks to two first-half goals.

🎥 | 𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 ✨Manisha Kalyan becomes the first Indian footballer to play in the UEFA Champions League as she makes her debut for Apollon Ladies FC 👏🤩

Although she didn’t make a goal contribution, her appearance on the pitch is itself a massive achievement for Indian football.

Her former Gokulam Kerala FC teammate, Elshaddai Acheampong, scored Apollon’s third and final goal of the game after coming on in the 74th minute.

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 👏

Manisha Kalyan’s meteoric rise through the Indian football ranks

Manisha garnered the limelight after her stellar performances in the 2019-20 season of the Indian Women’s League. The Punjab-born winger was adjudged the emerging player of the tournament and led Gokulam Kerala to their first IWL title.

It was on the night when India played against the mighty Brazilians in a friendly in November 2021, that everything changed for Manisha Kalyan. The 20-year-old made a marauding run past the Brazilian defense and became the first Indian to score against Brazil in senior football.

Since then, she has been a shining star in Indian football and lit up the 2022 edition of the IWL with 14 goals and seven assists. Months after the tournament came to an end, Gokulam Kerala announced that the tricky winger would be moving to Cyprus in search of greener pastures.

In a recent friendly, Manisha also scored a goal for Apollon Ladies FC in their 4-0 victory over Omonia FC. But for her, the ceiling just keeps growing higher and luckily she has the talent to reach those heights.

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