Gokulam Kerala thrashes Kahaani
Gokulam Kerala FC defeated Kahaani FC 14-1 at the Shahibaug Police Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday, May 6, 2023. To record the biggest-ever win in a Hero IWL final-round game.
Gokulam Kerala was stunned again when Kahaani took an early lead courtesy of a Ranjana Chanu own goal after their record 21-match winning streak came to an end with a goalless draw against Misaka United on Thursday. But, once Sandhiya Ranganathan levelled in the 18th minute, the Malabarians were unstoppable. Gokulam led 4-1 at halftime thanks to goals from league leader Sabitra Bhandari, Shilky Devi, and Indhumathi Kathiresan.
The floodgates stayed open in the second half when Kenyan attacker Vivian Adjei and defender Ashalata Devi both scored. As a consequence, Gokulam Kerala set a new record for the largest victory margin in the Hero IWL when they defeated Odisha Police 12-0 last year.
Ranganathan was named Player of the Match after scoring five goals. Bhandari’s four goals brought her season total to 15, seven more than Sethu FC’s Kajol Dsouza. Gokulam still leads Group A with 13 points after five games.
East Bengal and Misaka United split the spoils
Misaka United FC’s excellent run of success continued on Saturday, May 6. As they drew 1-1 with East Bengal FC in their Hero Indian Women’s League Group A encounter at the TransStadia.
East Bengal had two shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, compared to Misaka United’s only shot. As they pushed for the first goal, neither could find the finished product.
East Bengal’s best chance in the first half came in the 25th minute. Mousumi Murmu hammered in a long-range free-kick. Nurul Azurin Mazlan, the Misaka United custodian, managed to get her hands on the ball. As it came back into play after striking the width of the woodwork.
Finally, in the first half’s additional time, the Bengaluru team struck first. Lavanya Upadhyay came in from the left wing and hit a stunning shot into the top right corner to put the game up 1-0.
Misaka United got off to a better start after the interval. They were on the verge of extending their advantage in the 48th minute when replacement Lucy Jira went all alone after a dashing solo run from the middle of the park. East Bengal custodian Keisham Melody Chanu, on the other hand, was able to stop the on-target shot and keep her team in the game.
Lucy almost scored a screamer from outside the box around the hour mark. The Kenyan attacker pounced onto a stray ball. But the East Bengal custodian tipped it against the crossbar as the ball returned to play.
On the other hand, the Red and Gold Brigade persisted in their pursuit of an equaliser. Their efforts were rewarded in the 70th minute as replacement Singo Murmu seized on a Misaka United defenders blunder. Nurul, the custodian, battled to save the forward’s powerful grounded shot. Which trickled into the back of the net to tie the game at one.
Lavanya Upadhyay had a wonderful opportunity to win it for Misaka United in the 86th minute. When she found a loose ball inside the area with just the custodian at her disposal. However, she was unable to keep her attempt on goal. And the ball sailed agonisingly wide off the bar, leaving the score at 1-1.
Sunalinda Iawren of Misaka United was chosen Player of the Match for her outstanding performance in the middle of the pitch.
Mumbai Knights are back on track
On Saturday, Mumbai Knights FC defeated Sports Odisha 2-1 at the TransStadia to preserve their fourth-place position in Group A. Anju scored for Sports Odisha in the first half, but India international defender Ritu Rani levelled just before halftime. Karishma Shirvoikar’s goal shortly after the interval gave Mumbai Knights the lead, which they held until the end. Shirvoikar was also voted Match MVP for her game-winning goal.
HOPS FC register a dominating victory
Meanwhile, in the Shahibaug Police Stadium, HOPS FC won their second game in a row, 3-0 over Mata Rukmani FC. Renu Rani scored from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute. While Santosh and Mamta added goals in the second half to secure the victory for the Delhi-based club.
Renu Rani was selected Player of the Match for her contribution to her team’s crucial three points. The victory also moved HOPS into fourth place in Group A, just ahead of Sports Odisha.
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