Sethu Madurai continued their winning run in the Indian Women’s League as they cruised past Lords FA Kochi 4-1 in their Group B clash at the TransStadia on Sunday. A brace by Kajol D’Souza and a goal each by Sumita Kumari and Naorem Priyangka Devi helped last season’s runners up to a convincing victory.
D’Souza and Malvika P were a force to reckon with for Sethu FC in the first half. D’Souza came close to breaking the deadlock when she was set up brilliantly by Malavika early in the game, her attempt going wide by a slim margin.
Sethu Madurai reaped the benefits of their constant forays towards goal breaking the deadlock courtesy a wonder strike by Sumati Kumari in as early as the first minute of the second half. D’Souza and Gladys Zonunsangi combined well on the left flank before the former released Sumati Kumari with a brilliant through ball. Kumari, unmarked on the left, went for a left footed cross which ended up looping over and beating the Lords FA Kochi custodian, Yadhu Priya and slotting into the top far corner of the goal.
A second followed soon after, as Sethu extended their lead in the 59th minute. Kumari’s pass from the left found Kenyan forward Dorcas Sikobe at the edge of the penalty box. Sikobe opened her body and tried to score from range, Yadhu Priya saving the shot, but unable to hold it within her grasp. The ball fell kindly to D’Souza, who didn’t miss a beat to grab her team’s second of the game.
Sethu made it three in the 70th minute, with another brilliant counter-attack. Malavika was the architect, releasing a perfectly timed pass into the path of Naorem Priyangka Devi to put her one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Priyangka coolly chipped it over the onrushing Priya to get her first goal of the season.
D’Souza added to her growing tally for the season with another goal in the 85th minute. A botched clearance by the Lords FA Kochi defence, near the halfway line allowed D’Souza to run through free on goal with only the goalkeeper in her way. The youngster finished coolly, rounding Priya and slotting it into the net.
Lords FA Kochi scored a consolation goal in injury time via a penalty after Sunita Sarkar was fouled inside the area. Kathleen Rodriguez made no mistake from the spot to ensure Sethu would not get a clean sheet.
Kickstart upset Odisha FC
Kickstart FC Karnataka provided one of the early shocks of the group stage, beating a star-studded Odisha FC 2-0 in a Group B clash at the Shahibaug Police Stadium. Kickstart scored once in each half to secure the three points.
Goals from Kenyan forward Kioko Elizabeth Katungwa (36’) and Laishram Bibicha Devi (73’) ensured victory for Langam Chaoba Debi’s wards.
CRPF recorded a 2-1 victory over Churchill Brothers FC in their Group B clash at the Shahibaug Police stadium.
CRPF FC captain Binita Kerketta, opened the scoring from the spot in the fourth minute of the match. The penalty had been awarded after a botched clearance from a corner resulted in a handball in the area by the Churchill Brothers defence.
Karen Estrocio equalised in the 52nd minute for Churchill Brothers. Having failed to deal with a routine ball, a CRPF defender instead launched it high in the air and inside her own box. An onrushing Estrocio pounced on the chance headed past the goalkeeper to draw the Goan outfit level.
With the game petering towards a draw, CRPF FC defender Karam Tony Devi headed home the winner in the 89th minute from a corner.