Defending champions Gokulam Kerala, Sports Odisha, East Bengal FC and HOPS FC qualified for the quarter-finals of the Indian Women’s League 2023 after the final matchday in group A.
In their final group A match, Gokulam Kerala defeated Mumbai Knights 11-1 at the Shahibaug Police Stadium on Friday.
It all started with a 10th-minute strike from skipper Indumathi Kathiresan as the Malabarians took an early lead. In the span of the next 10 minutes, Sabitra Bhandari struck twice, while Sandhiya Ranganathan added the side’s fourth goal.
With the scoreline showing 4-0 in favour of Gokulam Kerala by the 20th minute, the defending champions took complete charge of the game. To make matters worse for the Maharashtra-based side, in-form Bhandari netted two goals in the 33rd and 39th minutes to make it 6-0.
Yet, Mumbai Knights made sure they didn’t leave the pitch without giving a fight, as Bhumika Mane pulled one back out of nowhere to make it 6-1 at half time.
Already leading the goalscoring charts by a margin, Nepal sensation Sumitra Bhandari proved to be a nightmare for the Knights’ defence. The electric forward scored a second-half hat-trick to make it seven goals in the afternoon.
For Gokulam Kerala, Sandhiya Ranganathan and Asem Roja Devi too found the back of the net in the second -half as the full-time score read 11-1
While the result didn’t change anything for the Malabarians, for Mumbai Knights, it ended their ambitious campaign as they finished fifth in the table.
Sabitra Bhandari was rightly adjudged the Player of the Match for her fine display.
East Bengal edge HOPS
A 35th-minute penalty conversion by Ratna Halder was enough for East Bengal to down HOPS in their final Group A game. The skipper was also adjudged the player of the match for her commanding display throughout the game.
The Red and Gold Brigade needed to avoid a defeat to ensure a spot in the quarter-finals. On the other hand, despite losing out, HOPS made it to the quarter-finals as they finished fourth in the Group A table with 12 points.
Sports Odisha hold Misaka United to draw
In a disappointing afternoon for Misaka United, Sports Odisha held them in a goalless draw at the TransStadia
The team from Bengaluru required a win to make it to the knock out stages of the competition, but failed to register a goal. Sports Odisha on the other hand, managed to finish in the top four to progress to the next stage.
Midfielder Nisilia Majaw was named the player of the match for her spirited display for Misaka United.
Kahaani, Mata Rukmani play goalless draw
It ended all square between Kahaani and Mata Rukmani at the Shahibaug Police Stadium on Friday morning. The two sides, who stand at the bottom-most positions in the Group A table, shared points in a goalless draw – a first of the season for both – and ended the IWL campaign on a light note.
Kahaani custodian Aarti Banwari was named the Player of the Match for her solid display between the sticks.
IWL Group A
|2||Sports Odisha||7||4||1||2||-2|| 13|
|7||Mata Rukmani FC||7||0||1||6||-18||1|