The Malabarians became the first outfit to reach the 50-goal mark in the competition.

Gokulam Kerala trounced Kickstart FC 5-0 in their Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2022 fixture at the Capital Ground in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The Malabarians picked up from where they left in the previous game and scored an early goal. Manisha Kalyan’s cross from the left flank was directed towards the goal by Elshaddai Acheampong in the 7th minute. Within five minutes, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi doubled the lead for Gokulam Kerala. She beat the goalkeeper from the penalty spot after Dangmei Grace was fouled inside the box.

The defending champions enjoyed a sixty-eight percent ball possession in the first half. Nevertheless, Kickstart FC had an equal number of shots on target as their counterparts. 

At the hour mark, Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi scored an Olympic goal to make it 3-0 for Gokulam Kerala. The No. 10’s corner kick was too hot to handle for Kickstart FC goalkeeper Maibam Linthoingambi Devi as she spilled it into her own net.

However, it was Manisha Kalyan who stole the show with a moment of brilliance in the 80th minute. The prolific forward made a perfect Cruyff turn at the edge of the box and sent in a left-footed curler into the top left corner to make it 4-0. 

To put a cherry on top for Gokulam Kerala, Kalyan set Karishma Shirvoikar up in the added time and the youngster tapped the ball in to complete a magnificent victory in the IWL.

Hans FC stay at bottom after defeat to Sirvodem

Hans Women Football Club were at the end of yet another humbling defeat in the ongoing IWL. They lost to Sirvodem Sports Club by a 4-0 scoreline at the Kalinga Stadium to stay at the bottom of the points table. Goals from Aleena, Jyoti, Sharda, and Sanfida ensured a second win of the campaign for SSC while inflicting an eighth successive defeat to HWFC.

Hans started the game brightly and it looked like the proceedings were evenly poised. However, SSC quickly took control of the match through Aleena’s opener. The lead was doubled by a precise finish by Jyoti who came close to scoring the third as well.

Just as the first half was coming to an end, SSC scored two quickfire goals to take a commanding four-goal lead. Sharda scored a fabulous free-kick for the third while Sanfida scored seconds before the referee’s whistle to make it 4-0 in favour of her team. As for Hans Women FC, they had only one attempt on goal from Muskan Khan.

The second half saw Hans fire on all cylinders once again. They pushed for their opening goal of the match with an aim to reduce the deficit. Asha Thapa had room to take a shot five minutes past the hour mark. The attacker, however, sent her shot into the stands, failing to hit the target. Later, SSC looked to have scored the fifth but the referee disallowed the goal owing to a player being offside in the build-up. 

The final quarter of the match saw a more even contest with SSC creating marginally better chances. Five minutes were added for stoppages at the end of the regulation period but neither team managed to find the back of the net during that time. The game finished without any goals in the second half. 

In their next IWL outing, Sirvodem Sports Club has a meeting with Gokulam Kerala FC at the 7th Batallion ground on Tuesday while Hans Women Football Club will face high-flying Sports Odisha at the same venue on Wednesday.

SSB Women, Sports Odisha share spoils

SSB Women were held to a 1-1 draw by Sports Odisha in their IWL 2022 clash at the 7th Battalion Ground in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, May 14.

The team from West Bengal was on the attacking foot right from kickoff and found several breakthroughs in the first half. Naorem Sumila Chanu, Sandhya Kachhap and Ngangom Anibala Devi all came close to scoring but failed to convert in the attacking third.

On one occasion in the 29th minute, Sports Odisha almost took a surprise lead in the game. However, Pyari Xaxa’s strike from inside the box was ruled out by the referee for a foul that took place in the build up.

Eventually, the Sports Odisha defence paved the way and SSB Women took a much-needed lead in the 41st minute. Sandhya Kachhap came in from the right flank and bundled the Sports Odisha goalkeeper to find the back of the net.

Sports Odisha enjoyed more possession of the ball in the second half. In the 87th minute, Pyari Xaxa missed a golden opportunity to pull one back for the local side. The forward failed to place the ball inside an open goal following a mismatch from the SSB Women goalkeeper. 

However, she went on to make amends and scored in the 90th minute. Xaxa beat the SSB Women goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation and slotted the ball home to make it 1-1.

The No. 10’s strike came in at a crucial time for Sports Odisha as the referee blew the full-time whistle, resulting in both sides taking home a point each in the IWL.

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