Hero IWL – Round 2 Checkpoint


The Round 2 fixtures of the Hero IWL saw six teams go head-to-head, with every team now having played a game at least. Odisha FC started their Hero IWL campaign in style with a crushing 4-0 victory over their local rivals Sports Odisha. Kickstart FC continued their dominant start by outclassing East Bengal 3 – 1 as they maintained their sole lead in the table. Gokulam Kerala FC climbed to the second position in the standings with a 1-0 victory against HOPS FC.


Round 2 commenced on Thursday, as the reigning IWL Champions, Gokulam Kerala FC registered their first win of the campaign with a 1-0 win over HOPS FC in a hard-fought clash at Ambedkar Stadium. The match saw end-to-end action right from the kick-off with both teams creating several chances. However, India international Anju Tamang’s late first-half perfect header from Soumya Guguloth’s cross proved to be the only difference between the two sides as the Malabarians kept their resolve and held their lead in the game and climbed to the second spot in the table.

Hero IWL Odisha FC vs Sports Odisha

In the much-awaited all-Odisha clash, Odisha FC ran rampant against Sports Odisha at the Capital Football Arena in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Odisha FC skipper Manisa Panna gave her team the lead in the first half with a great header. The Juggernauts completely dominated the first half and continued their dominance due to the sheer brilliance of their new foreign recruit from Myanmar, Win Theingi Tun, who netted a brace in the second half to put the game beyond any doubts. Malati Munda added the fourth and final nail to the coffin after scoring from a swift counter-attack in the latter stages of the game.

This resounding victory will give Odisha FC a huge boost and also a very healthy goal difference as they move to the third spot in the table after their first outing. Meanwhile, Sports Odisha have had an exactly opposite start to the campaign as they moved to the bottom of the table, having conceded six goals in their two defeats so far.

Hero IWL - EBFC vs KFC 2

The final game of the round saw Kickstart FC maul East Bengal with a 3-1 victory. The star of this match and also the round was Karishma Shirvoikar, as she scored a thumping hat trick to put Kickstart FC at the top of the Hero IWL standings with 6 points in two games.

The Indian International was almost unstoppable for the shaky East Bengal defence as she could have finished the game with two more goals after missing a couple of golden chances right in the beginning. Karishma scored two goals before Junior international Sulanjana Raul pulled one back for East Bengal. However, the comeback was never on the cards as Karishma put the game beyond the Kolkata giants as she slammed in another goal on the run to complete her hat-trick.

The culmination of the round and the standings show how exciting and unpredictable this season is shaping to be. After Odisha FC’s dominant start, they look like proper contenders but it might be too early to say this as they are going to face the reigning champions Gokulam Kerala FC next week in a mouth-watering clash.

Kickstart FC will look to add more salt to Sports Odisha’s wounds next week as they look to continue their perfect run in the league and inflict a third defeat in a row for Sports Odisha. East Bengal will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they face Sethu FC next week in a very important clash at their home ground in Kolkata.

After losing their first two games just like Sporst Odisha, HOPS FC will probably welcome a much-needed break to rebuild and regroup as they will not play in the next round. However, they will look to clinch their first points as they face East Bengal on January 4, 2024, at the latter’s ground in Kolkata.
The next round promises to be pivotal to determine how the league shapes up in the initial stages of the league. much-needed

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