Gokulam Kerala girls yet again at the top

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Defending champions Gokulam Kerala won 8-1 over Sports Odisha. The second Group A match of the Hero Indian Women’s League 2023 was on Saturday, April 29 at the TransStadia.

Gokulam ran away with an 8-2 victory over Kolkata’s East Bengal FC in their maiden league encounter.

Sabitra Bhandari, who had a five-star performance against East Bengal FC in the first game. Was once again on song for the Malabarians. This time, the Nepal attacker scored four goals, bringing her total to nine in two games.

In the seventh minute, Bhandari defeated the custodian one-on-one. And slammed the ball into the back of the net for Gokulam Kerala. The defending champions’ joy, however, was short-lived, as Sports Odisha levelled the scores five minutes later.

Sumitra Hembram found herself in a favourable position when she attempted an audacious try from outside the box. Sowmiya Narayanasamy of Gokulam Kerala was stopped off the line. As the ball hit the underside of the crossbar and fell in the net.

In the 28th minute, Gokulam seized the lead once more. Vivian Adjei, a Ghanaian striker, scored this time when she shot home a loose ball inside the area. The Anthony Andrews-coached team went on to win 3-1 before the half. Sabitra Bhandari found an unmarked Dangmei Grace. She struck the ball from the edge of the box to reach the target.

Gokulam beats Odisha

Following the break, Gokulam Kerala took complete control of the game, dominating the proceedings. Bhandari scored her second goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Dangmei Grace’s attempt was deflected by the Sports Odisha custodian. And the rebound off the crossbar came to Sabitra, who made no mistake.

The Nepalese attacker completed her hat-trick the next minute, poking the ball past the custodian to make it 5-1. Indumathi Kathiresan provided the assist for the goal. With 20 minutes remaining, Hemam Shilky Devi joined Gokulam Kerala’s celebrations. By heading home the sixth goal off a Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu corner. The young defender sprang high to expertly place the ball in the top-left corner.

Sabitra Bhandari scored her fourth goal of the game off a rebound for the Malabarians. Harmilan Kaur, a substitute forward, saw her attempt from the left side of the box stopped. And the resulting ball was squared off neatly by the Nepalese attacker.

Vivian Adjei scored a penalty in the 86th minute to make it 8-1. Poonam hauled down the Ghanaian inside the area, and the forward made no mistake in putting it home. Vivian was also selected Player of the Match for her brace and overall performance.

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East Bengal has a maiden registration

IWL debutants who are heroes East Bengal FC came back from a 1-0 loss. In the first game to beat Kahaani FC by a close margin. The Red and Gold Brigade hung on to skipper Ratna Halder’s 79th-minute penalty shot to earn three points.  Kahaani keeper Aarti Banwari, was named Player of the Match for her outstanding performance between the posts.

HOPS defeats Misaka United

HOPS FC earned three points in their second encounter of the Hero IWL 2023 season. Defeating Misaka United FC 1-0 at the TransStadia. AA 63rd-minute score from substitute Renu Rani was enough for the New Delhi squad to beat their opponents. Later, the forward was named Player of the Match.

Mumbai Knights win their second game

Debutants Mumbai Knights extended their winning streak with a 1-0 victory over Mata Rukmani FC at the Shahibaug Police Stadium. Namita Belsariya’s own goal in the 12th minute cost Chhattisgarh the game, resulting in their second defeat of the season. Moreover, they selected Priyanka of the Mumbai Knights Player of the Match.

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