In a top of the table clash from Group B, Sethu Madurai FC and Kickstart FC played out a goalless draw at the TransStadia in the Indian Women’s League on Wednesday. The result preserved Sethu’s unbeaten run — while breaking their perfect record so far — and also kept Kickstart’s five-match unbeaten streak alive. For the latter though, it came at the cost of dropping a place on the table.
Both sides were evenly matched throughout the match, both missing multiple opportunities to take the lead, and failing to apply the finishing touches. For Sethu Madurai, the result was all the more tougher to digest, the former champions were presented with far cleaner chances, only to be thwarted by an imperious Maibam Linthoigambi Devi in the Kickstart goal.
Linthoi was at her best in the 22nd minute, a defensive error from a Priyangka Devi cross gifting Kajol Dsouza with a chance to score the opener. The forward has scored nine in the league so far, and struck hard and true, only for a diving Linthoi to somehow deny her from point blank range. Another brilliant save came soon after, this time from an Apurna Narzary effort. Having twisted and turned away from her markers, Narzary curled a shot destined for the far corner to see a diving Linthoi somehow palm it away.
Kickstart had their own share of lost attempts, Laishram Bibicha Devi and Devneta Roy both creating chances but unable to finish them off. Bibicha Devi was awarded the player of the match for her resilient display in the Kickstart midfield.
Odisha FC beat Celtic Queens, rise to second in Group B
Odisha FC profited from the draw between Sethu and Kickstart to rise a place in the table, with their 3-0 victory over Celtic Queens FC at the Shahibaug Police Stadium. While the quarter finalists from the group have been decided with one round of games yet to be played, the spot gained could prove to be huge in terms of the draw for the next round.
Odisha took the lead through Faustina Worwornyo’s goal in the third minute of the game and from there on there was no stopping them.
Bannya Kabiraj doubled their lead in first half added time, and S Lynda Kom put the game to bed in the dying seconds of the game. Anju Tamang was awarded the Player of the Match as she showcased great composure in the middle of the park.
Eastern Sporting cement quarters spot
Eastern Sporting Union picked up a narrow but crucial win against CRPF in their Group B match at the TransStadia. A 52nd-minute goal from Irom Prameshwori Devi was enough for the former IWL champions to bag the victory.
The win also guarantees them a spot in the quarter-finals of the tournament with one group stage game yet to be played. Prameshwori was also adjudged the player of the match for her match-winning goal.
Churchill Brothers register first three points in style
At the Shahibaug Police Stadium, Churchill Brothers recorded their first win of the season beating Lords FA Kochi 3-1. In a keenly fought game, Riya Sharma scored two minutes before halftime to give Churchill the lead at the break. Within 10 minutes of the second period though, Kathleen Rodriguez slotted home a penalty to draw Lords FA level. The goal was her eighth of the season, the third highest tally in the league.
The difference though came in the final 15 minutes of the game. Saniya scored a second for Churchill in the 79th minute, and then got one more in injury time to ensure the Goan outfit picked up their first win of the season. The forward was named the Player of the Match for her game changing display.