Gokulam Kerala posted their third win in as many games, as they demolished SSB Women Football Club by a massive margin of 5-0 at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Thursday in the Indian Women’s League.
Anju Tamang was the star of the show, as she scored a brace, and played a crucial role in the Kerala side’s build-up plays, helping them to spread the ball to the wings, essentially stretching the game in order to cause problems for the SSB defence.
Gokulam started the game off swiftly, as they broke the deadlock straight from the kick-off. An intricate move was finished off by India international Anju Tamang. The entire move took Gokulam just 14 seconds, which makes this the fastest goal scored in the 2018-19 season of IWL.
SSB, however, were not ready to give up, and kept surging forward in search of the equaliser. Sangita Basfore, who generally plays midfield for the Indian women’s team, was the focal point of their attacks up front.
The game ebbed and flowed both ways, but it was Gokulam, who put the doubts to bed, when Anita Rawat scored minutes before the half time break. Sanju soared up the left flank and sent in a low cross that was tapped in by Rawat.
Gokulam started off in almost exactly the same fashion in the second half as well, when they got the ball from SSB, registered a shot on target from Ranjana Chanu, and watched in delight as the opposition keeper Manju fumbled the ball over the goal-line.
As it that was not enough, Bawitlung Vanlalhriattiri made it four with a little over a quarter of an hour of regulation time left on the clock. The second half substitute was played through on goal, as she rounded off the keeper, sold a dummie and walked the ball into an unguarded goal.
Tamang added another goal in the second-last minute of regulation time to make it another 5-goal victory for the Kerala side.
By virtue of this win, Gokulam have now taken a massive lead at the top of the Group II table with nine points.
Elsewhere, Panjim Footballers posted their first win of the season, as they pipped FC Alakhpura 2-1 in a tight affair at the Guru Nanak Stadium.
Karishma Shirvoikar broke the Alakhpura defence twice to help PAnjim earn the three points, but it was the tactical defence of Scindia Saudatikar that stole the show and earned the defender the Player of the Match Award.
It was Panjim, who broke the deadlock early on in the game.
Karishma Shirvoikar beat the Alakhpura offside trap, ran on to an aerial ball that was played in behind the defence, and slipped it past the Alakhpura keeper Neelam to put Panjim in the lead.
Having taken the lead, Panjim were happy to sit back and let Alakhpura have the ball, while they concentrated on keeping their defensive shape intact.
Keeping their backline strong was a strategy that worked wonders for Panjim, who had conceded three in their previous match against Hans Women FC.
It took them a little over 10 minutes after the start of the second half to double the score. Again, it was an aerial ball played in behind the defence, as Karishma ran on to the ball and lobbed it over the keeper.
Alakhpura kept knocking on the door and Panjim finally budged from a set-piece, as the Haryana side’s India U-18 international Samiksha expertly nodded it in.