IWL: Fazila Ikwaput stars in Gokulam Kerala’s big win

Gokulam win took them to 23 points from 10 matches. The Malabarians, however, have played a match more than Odisha FC.

Update: 2024-03-03 12:08 GMT

Fazila Ikwaput 

The snake-and-ladder game in the IWL 2023-24 points table continued as it was Gokulam Kerala FC’s turn on Sunday, March 3, 2024, to occupy the pole position with a resounding 5-0 victory over bottom side Sports Odisha at the Capital Football Arena. The winners led 2-0 at halftime.

Fazila Ikwaput, a Ugandan National Team player, was the star of the show with a four-goal-in-a-row performance. Her last three goals came in a span of three minutes. With a total of 11 goals to her credit, Fazila is now the top scorer in the current edition. This was her second hat-trick in the IWL 2023-24.

On Saturday, strong title contenders Odisha FC reached the top of the table with 22 points after defeating Sethu FC. It didn’t last long, as the Gokulam win took them to 23 points from 10 matches. The Malabarians, however, have played a match more than Odisha FC.

Sunday’s match went the expected way as Sports Odisha, now having two points from 10 matches, proved no match against the defending champions. Going by the trend of the tie, they were let off rather easily; their citadel experienced close shaves on at least four more occasions.

Sports Odisha’s unstable defence gave away the first goal in the third minute. A defensive mistake at the goalmouth made things easier for Gokulam and Sandhiya Ranganathan gleefully accepted the opportunity to put her team ahead.

Thereafter, it was a one-sided show as Gokulam attackers kept on pounding their rivals in search of more goals. Anju Tamang, just back from the Turkish Women’s Cup after a runners-up campaign with the Senior National Team, had Sports Odisha in all sorts of trouble with her probing moves from the left.

Anju was distinctly unlucky not to score during this period. In the 38th minute, her teasing lob had rival goalkeeper Spandita Das absolutely stranded, but the ball hit the post and rolled out slowly enough for the custodian to grab it. Anju had another go at the goal almost immediately, only to find the post blocking her effort once again.

In the 44th minute, Ugandan striker Fazila Ikwaput picked up the second goal for her team. Anju Tamang played a major role in creating this goal; she made her way through and was in a good position to find the target, but switched the ball for a better-placed Fazila to simply tap it in.

Fazila’s form truly came alive during the closing stages. Starting from the 83rd minute, she scored three in a row to make it a complete rout. The Sports Odisha defence, by then, was a tired lot and had not much resistance to offer.


Similar News