Indian Women's Football

AFC Women’s Club Championship: Gokulam Kerala, Hualien FC split points

Khel NowKhel Now
November 9 2023
(Courtesy : AFC Media)

Gokulam Kerala took the lead but couldn’t save it.

India’s Gokulam Kerala FC played a 1-1 draw with Hualien Women’s Football Team of Chinese Taipei in an AFC Women’s Club Championship 2023 Group A tie on Thursday.

Both earned their first point but could be eliminated from the running to finish as group winners should there be a victor in the later game between Bangkok FC and Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies.

After a balanced opening period, Gokulam took the lead in the 18th minute when Hajar Dabaghi went on a mazy run before feeding Veronica Appiah on the right, the Ghanaian’s cross found Sumati Kumari who thumped in a header past Chu Fang-yi.

Frustration mounted for Hualien’s Ju Wen-bin as his side struggled to break down Gokulam, highlighted by a 25-yard strike from Lin Kai-ling that became a routine catch for Beatrice Nketia, the custodian for the Indian side.

It took Hualien until the 40th minute to create concern inside Gokulam’s box with a Lin Ya-hsuan shot that went just wide with the Indian side responding by Appiah forcing a save from Chu.

A minute later, the Chinese Taipei side were level as Lin Jing-xuan ghosted into space inside the box and was calm in finding the back of the net with a low finish despite Nketia closing in on her.

The first opportunity of the second half fell Hualien’s way when Kai-ling produced a left footed curler that missed the target on 57 minutes, Kumari did likewise at the other end two minutes later from the middle of the box.

Hualien went down to 10 players in the 62nd minute, Jhuo Li-shan receiving her marching orders after picking up a second booking.

Despite playing the last half an hour of the match with an additional player, Gokulam couldn’t take advantage with only Dabbaghi’s effort in the 75th minute worth noting with both sides having to settle for a draw.

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