East Bengal downed Mata Rukmani FC 2-0 in their group A match of the Indian Women’s League 2023, at the TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
This was the Kolkata team’s second consecutive victory in three matches after losing the opening encounter against Gokulam Kerala FC.
Though the Red and Gold Brigade proved to be the better side in most parts of the match, the team from Chhattisgarh had a good opportunity to have a breakthrough in the 10th minute. Had not Priyanka Kashyap headed wide from close range off a Devika Yadav cross, it would have been an early lead for Mata Rukmani.
East Bengal took charge of the game thereafter and the IWL debutants finally capitalised on an opportunity in the 25th minute from a corner. Mamata Singh’s cross was headed in by forward Mousumi Murmu as East Bengal took a 1-0 lead.
In the 39th minute, Mata Rukmani had another chance to find the back of the net when Ripika Korram had only the goalkeeper Keisham Melody Chanu to beat. However, the forward couldn’t connect with the ball properly.
Before the half-time whistle, East Bengal came close to doubling their lead. Sulanjana Raul’s attempt from the left of the box was blocked by Mata Rukmani goalkeeper Jyotsna Bara. Tulsi Hembram could have scored from the rebound, but the forward couldn’t keep the ball on target.
In the 71st minute, Laxmi Podiyami of Mata Rukmani managed to thwart Rimpa Haldar from a scoring position, but Haldar, however, found success two minutes later when she beat the goalkeeper and slotted home to make it 2-0. The midfielder was later awarded the Player of the Match.
Both sides came close to scoring in the game’s dying minutes, but neither could find the end product. The win means East Bengal have found their rhythm after a slow start to the season. On the other hand, the result has Mata Rukmani still searching for their first points of the campaign.
Gokulam Kerala beat HOPS FC
Gokulam Kerala continued their winning streak in the IWL as they picked up a 3-0 win over HOPS FC at the Shahibaug Police Stadium. The top scorer of the league, Nepal striker Sabitra Bhandari took her tally to 11 goals in three matches in the current edition of the IWL as she netted twice for the Malabarians in the second half.
Asem Roja Devi, too, got on the scoresheet as she opened the scoring for Gokulam Kerala in the 38th minute. Young defender Hemam Shilky Devi was adjudged the Player of the Match for her robust defending.
Misaka United, Mumbai Knights play a goalless draw
It ended all square between Misaka United FC and Mumbai Knights at the TransStadia earlier on Tuesday. The two sides matched up evenly in the game as they took home a point each from a goalless draw.
Misaka United attacker Lavanya Upadhyay was named the Player of the Match.
Sports Odisha back on winning track
Sports Odisha bounced back to winning ways when they defeated Kahaani FC 3-0, later on the day at Shahibaug Police Stadium. A brace from Rekha Poudel and a late strike from substitute Nisha helped the side grab the three points, after losing out last time against Gokulam Kerala.
Midfielder Sanfida Nongrum was adjudged the Player of the Match. While the result lifts Sports Odisha’s prospects, at the other end, it piles more misery on Ahmedabad-based Kahaani, who now have suffered three back-to-back defeats in the meet. It remains to be seen how either of the sides fare in the upcoming Group A games.