Defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC’s 21-match winning streak in the Indian Women’s League came to an end on Thursday, at the TransStadia in Ahmedabad, as they were held to a 0-0 by Misaka United FC.

The Malabarians, however, remain firmly at the top of Group A with 10 points to their name, followed by East Bengal, who scored a comfortable 4-2 victory against Mumbai Knights FC at the Shahibaug Police Stadium on Thursday, to move to the second spot in Group A with nine points to their name.

The two-time IWL champions won all their matches in the 2019-20 and the 2021-22 IWL seasons followed by victories in their first three matches on the 2022-23 season against East Bengal (8-2), Sports Odisha (8-1), and HOPS FC (3-0), before the stalemate against Misaka United.

Misaka’s Malaysian goalkeeper Nurul Mazlan was named the Player of the Match after a stellar performance between the sticks. The last time Gokulam Kerala lost a IWL match was in the semi-final of the 2018-19 season against Manipur Police (2-4), in a game where Ngangom Bala Devi netted four goals.

East Bengal, HOPS earn convincing wins

Midfielder Rimpa Haldar was the star of the show for East Bengal, scoring a brace in the Red and Gold Brigade’s 4-2 victory against Mumbai Knights. Mousumi Murmu and Tulsi Hembram netted one each for the Kolkata giants, while captain Priyanka and substitute Namrata Thakur scored one each for the Mumbai outfit to pull two goals back in the second half.

In a high-scoring match at the TransStadia, HOPS FC registered a solid 6-0 win over Kahaani FC. The victory for HOPS means they climb the table by one position, with six points accumulated over four games.

The team from New Delhi had four different goalscorers on the day with Renu Rani and Tannu both scoring braces. Santosh and substitute Kajal also netted a goal apiece.

Meanwhile, Sports Odisha edged Mata Rukmani 1-0 at the Shahibaug Police Stadium to move second in Group A, just a point behind leaders Gokulam Kerala.

Manisha Naik’s 54th minute strike was all that seperated the two teams. The forward crept in between two Mata Rukmani defenders and finished off a brilliant cross from the left flank by Nisha.