Sethu FC are now level on points with Gokulam Kerala and Kickstart FC at the top of the points table.

Former Indian Women’s League (IWL) champions Sethu FC picked up a comfortable 3-0 win over Indian Arrows on Sunday, April 24 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The win takes the club to the joint-top of the IWL table, level on points with Gokulam Kerala.

The two sides made a promising start to the game and exchanged heavy sets of attacks. However, it was Sethu FC who found the first breakthrough in the 15th minute. Skipper Sandhiya Ranganathan made a penetrating run through the Indian Arrows defence and put the ball past the goalkeeper with ease to make it 1-0.

The AIFF’s developmental side in the IWL held tight thereafter and the scoreline remained unchanged till the break. Sethu FC managed to make six attempts on target in the first 45 minutes itself, but the young Indian Arrows defended well.

Nevertheless, Sethu talisman Sandhiya Ranganathan once again displayed a touch of class with a wonderful solo goal in the 48th minute. The forward cut in from the left flank and beat the goalkeeper on the near post with a grounded finish to make it 2-0. 

Immediately in the 53rd minute, Sethu put the game to bed as Karthika Angamuthu scored from the spot. The Arrows’ Muskan Subba handled the ball inside the box, leading the referee to award a penalty to the winning side.

With the game in their hands, Sethu FC kept on with their relentless attacks but couldn’t add more to the scoresheet, thanks to the Arrows’ goalkeeper Adrija Sarkhel who was in fine form in the evening. Nonetheless, the Tamil Nadu-based side took home the much needed three points, thus registering a third-straight win in the IWL 2021/22

SSB Women thrash Mata Rukmani FC

SSB Women bounced back to winning ways in the Indian Women’s League (IWL) with a jubilant 7-1 victory over Mata Rukmani FC on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Sumila Chanu scored a magnificent hat-trick for the West Bengal side.

SSB Women dominated the proceedings right from the start and found their first breakthrough in the 18th minute. A poorly-cleared ball landed right into Sandhya Kachhap’s feet and the forward made no mistake from close range to put the ball past Mata Rukmani goalkeeper Meena Kashyap.

At the half-hour mark, the team from Siliguri doubled their lead. Naorem Sumila Chanu cut in from the left flank and passed the ball to Ngangom Anibala Devi. The midfielder took her chance from long range and her perfectly-struck ball hit the roof of the net. Before the break, Meena Kashyap made a costly error as the Mata Rukmani goalkeeper turned a dangerous corner kick into her own net, making it 3-0 for SSB Women.

After switching ends, the Chhattisgarh-based side looked more composed than before. However, Sumila Chanu produced a moment of brilliance with a scorcher of a shot from long range to make it 4-0 in the 48th minute. Within a couple of minutes, the SSB Women No. 9 scored another off a deflection to take the game further away from Mata Rukmani’s reach.

Nevertheless, the losing side pulled one back through Kiran Pisda. The forward capitalised on an error made by goalkeeper Manju just before the hour mark. But it certainly looked to be SSB Women’s day at the Capital Ground as Sandhya Kacchhap scored her second with yet another outside-the-box strike to make it 6-1 in the 63rd minute.

To put an end to the game, on-fire Sumila Chanu scored another belter from distance to complete her trick and hand the three points to SSB Women.

ARA FC record maiden win in IWL 2021-22

ARA FC defeated Odisha Police 3-1 to bag their first win in the fifth edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) at 7th Battalion Ground in Bhubaneshwar, on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

Both teams left it late in the second half to score, as defender Poonam, captain Kiran, and substitute Madhubala netted for ARA FC, while Suman Pragyana was the only scorer for Odisha Police.

ARA FC had a dominant start to the game, as Anju and midfielder Poonam orchestrated attacks along the opposition third, keeping the Odisha Police defenders on their toes. Odisha soaked in the pressure well as they collected the loose balls and went on sharp counterattacks. 

Ahead of the halftime breather, both sides created chances but lacked finishing in the attacking sphere as they headed into the tunnel.

Both sides looked rejuvenated after the break, and the game opened up with the two teams creating a lot of chances. 

Finally, the deadlock was broken in the 80th minute, when ARA fullback Poonam perfectly smashed a cross to send it into the back of the net. The joy lasted seconds as Suman Pragyana pulled back one for Odisha Police just a minute later.

Despite conceding the goal, ARA showed character and maintained composure as Kiran put ARA back in the lead on the 84th minute with a close-range shot.  Following the lead, ARA took complete control of the game and Madhubala bagged the winner for her side in the third minute of injury time minutes to make it 3-1 for her side and secure victory in the IWL.

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