Having won three matches on the trot, Gokulam Kerala FC will now cross swords with Misaka United FC in the Hero Indian Women’s League 2023 Group A tie at the TransStadia on Thursday, May 4.
In the previous game, Gokulam Kerala defeated HOPS FC 3-0. Forward Sabitra Bhandari, who has been in sublime form since the start of the meet, struck twice as she took her tally of goals to 11 in three matches.
When asked whether finishing the group stage unbeaten remains the aim, head coach Anthony Andrews said, "Our primary focus is to approach each game with a positive mindset and give our best performance on the field. While finishing the group stage unbeaten would be a great achievement, our focus is to give our best in every match."
On the Misaka match, he said: "We always analyse our opponents and make necessary adjustments to our game plan. However, our approach to the game remains the same, which is to play attacking football while being defensively solid. We will aim to stick to our style of play and execute it to the best of our abilities."
On the other hand, Misaka United have had a mixed start to their Hero IWL campaign, with a win, a defeat, and a draw apiece. Following a goalless draw against the Mumbai Knights in their previous fixture, the team from Bengaluru will be looking to leave an impression against the Group A leaders.
The match between Gokulam Kerala and Misaka United will kick-off at 8 am IST.
East Bengal face Mumbai challenge
At the Shahibaug Police Stadium at 8 am, East Bengal will meet Mumbai Knights with both sides looking to maintain their momentum. The Red and Gold Brigade picked up two back-to-back wins after the opening day loss against Gokulam Kerala.
Speaking about the opponents, East Bengal coach Sujata Kar said: "Mumbai Knights are a very good team. We will try to fill in the areas where we feel we are lacking."
Mumbai Knights head coach Rutuja Gunwant revealed her side’s gameplan when they face East Bengal. "We will stick to our plans and the tactics which we have planned in training. We plan to approach the game with a positive mindset and are hoping for the best."
Kahaani hope to change their tale
In search of their first points of the Hero IWL season, Kahaani FC will lock horns with HOPS FC at the TransStadia. Speaking on their rather abysmal form, the head coach of the Ahmedabad-based side, Lalita Saina, said "We know that the season has been very slow for us, but we still have four matches left. We want to get back in the game and are working on the mistakes we previously made."
On the other hand, HOPS, too, slumped to defeat against Gokulam Kerala in their previous fixture and will be looking to bounce back stronger. Head coach Sanjay Singh said: "We take a lot of positives from the last match loss.
Despite the defeat, we played well against the champions Gokulam Kerala. We also came close to scoring a couple of goals ourselves. With this confidence and a positive outlook, we look forward to dealing with the next match."
The match between Kahaani and HOPS will kick-off at 4:30 pm IST.
Sports Odisha look for full points
At the Shahibaug Police Stadium at 4:30 pm IST, two teams with contrasting forms, Sports Odisha and Mata Rukmani clash heads. After their loss against Gokulam Kerala, Sports Odisha redeemed themselves with a 3-0 win over HOPS FC.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming match, head coach Paromita Sit insisted that her side will look to go all-out against Mata Rukmani. "We will stick to our playing style. The confidence of the players is good now as we won the last game. The players are in good shape and we will go for the win."
Mata Rukmani, however, have seen a series of poor results, without a win in three games. Head coach Santanu Ghosh was confident in his side’s preparations and believes they will be able to find their lost rhythm