Having already qualified for the Indian Women’s League (IWL) semi-finals, Gokulam Kerala wrapped up their final Group B fixture with a thoroughly dominant win over Bidesh XI at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Friday (February 07).
Kamala Devi broke the deadlock in the first half before an own goal early on in the second half put Gokulam in cruise control. Sabitra Bhandari added the third, which was followed up by a wonder-strike from Umapati Devi. Karishma Shirvoikar added the final cherry on the top to make it five.
Bidesh XI, having lost all five of their group fixtures, were looking to make a point against the group leaders but the Malabarians, despite having already qualified for the last four, didn’t let their foot off the pedal.
Kamala Devi drew first blood, after catching the Bidesh defenders napping on the break in the 4th minute. They had the lion’s share of possession and remained assured with the ball. Bidesh did little to strike trouble but went into the break just a goal behind.
The floodgates opened in the second half, starting in the 57th minute. With a flurry of heads vying for the ball, it eventually went in off the back of a Bidesh’s Scindia Saundatikar, who had the misfortune of carrying an own goal to her name.
Talismanic forward Sabitra Bhandari showed her class, leaving three Bidesh defenders at bay before a thunderbolt strike from Umabati Devi from near the halfway line produced a goal that is worthy of being played over and over again. Karishma Shirvoikar added the fifth goal to seal the score, as Bidesh end their IWL campaign on a disappointing note.
Odisha Police played out a 1-1 draw with West Bengal’s Sreebhumi FC at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Friday (February 07, 2020), as both sides closed out their 4th Hero Indian Women’s League (IWL) campaign.
Tikina Samal’s first-half goal for Odisha was cancelled out by Poonam’s second-half penalty for Sreebhumi.
With the Hero IWL semi-finalists already confirmed for this season, both sides took to the pitch with the hope of signing off on a high.
Sreebhumi failed to deal with a corner and after a scramble in the box, Tikina Samal took full advantage as the ball fell to her feet, volleying it home in the 26th minute to put Odisha up by a goal.
Having played as a goalkeeper for the first three games, Samal now has three goals to her name after she was deployed as a forward.
The side from West Bengal was awarded a penalty in the 78th minute after Odisha skipper Karishma Oram was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Poonam stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Sreebhumi had a golden opportunity in stoppage time to steal the three points, after catching the Odisha defence off-guard on the counter, but Mamta couldn’t get the required finishing touch, leaving the spoils to be shared.