Gokulam Kerala FC continued their fine run in the Indian Women’s League (IWL) as they got the better of Bangalore United FC 5-1 to seal a semi-final spot with a game to spare. Gokulam are currently on top of the table, five points ahead of second-placed Sreebhumi. With the loss, Bangalore are now officially out of the competition.
The hosts got off to a poor start in the game that was being held at the Bangalore Stadium, and let Gokulam go ahead in just the third minute, though with a bit of luck. Bangalore’s Komal Kumari’s outstretched leg deflected the ball into her own net, but the side managed to level after a magnificent effort from Satyabati Khadia. In the fifth minute, Khadia got hold of a cross-field delivery from Purnima Rao, which allowed her to go for a courageous hit over the Gokulam keeper. With Aditi Chauhan not in her line either, the ball found the back of the net as Bangalore, who needed a win in the game, got their hopes up.
However, the second half was a different story altogether, with Sabitra Bhandari of Gokulam sending a header past Vinaya Seshan just seconds after the match resumed, to help her side take the lead again. It was the start of a barrage, as Kamala Devi made it 3-1 in the 51st minute after a one-on-one with the Bangalore goal-keeper. Moments later, a reckless challenge from Komal Kumari helped Gokulam earn a penalty and Devi scored from 12 yards to take the score to 4-1.
The footballer completed her hat-trick in the 93rd minute as she glided past three defenders to complete her feat and take the team over the line and into the semis in style.