Defending champions, Gokulam Kerala FC has sealed their place in yet another finals of Hero IWL as they got the better of Eastern Sporting Union in fashion. The team from Kerala defeated the inaugural IWL champions and one time runners up by a big margin of 5-1 scoreline.
Both Eastern Sporting Union and Gokulam Kerala clinched their Semi Final berth after a nail biting penalty shoot-out victories against Sports Odisha and Odisha FC womens team respectively. But, this time when these two clubs faced off, there was a unanimous winner who was predominant over the other.
The match was played at Transstadia, Ahmedabad at 8.30pm IST yesterday. It was a dominating victory for Gokulam Kerala as they were on the strong foot from the first whistle. Indumathi Kathiresan hit the crossbar which indeed marked as the first chance for Gokulam in the game. She was constantly creating threats for the opposition defense opening them multiple times in the first minutes of the game. But it was Eastern Sporting Union who opened the scoring sheet all of a sudden from a shocker goal Yumnam Kamala Devi in the 18th minute.
Gokulam fought back fearlessly and Sabitra Bhandari won a penalty for them in the 26th minute which was converted by Indumathi making no mistake to find the back of net which made the score level at 1-1. It was Sabitra herself, star striker for the team in Green gave them the lead after reaching out a long ball consolidating a missed chance earlier. First half ended with a scoreline of 2-1 in favour of the Malabarians.
Defending champions stepped up the quality of game in second half as Vivian Adjei, super sub found the back of net from a slicing ball laid off by Sabitra Bandari from the left flank in the 55th minute. Vivian, along with Sabitra and Indumathi was constantly poking the nose of Eastern Sporting Union defense with dangerous movements which paved the way for Gokulam Kerala to instill their domination in second half.
Multiple chances were missed by the team from Kerala but they found the 4th goal of the game in 70th minute from an inch perfect delivery put forward by Sabitra Bhandari from the right flank towards Indumathi who connected the areal ball with precision at best towards the right corner making the scoreline 4-1.
It was nail in the coffin for Eastern Sporting Union as Sabitra completed her brace in the 5th minute of added time with her blistering pace and calm finish in front of goal. Vivian turned the provider this time for Sabitra as Gokulam Kerala marched towards their third successive final appearance in Hero IWL campaign and one step away from the hat-trick IWL title.
Indumathi Kathiresan was awarded player of the match for her outstanding display of chance creation and scoring two goals to her name. League’s golden boot winner Sabitra Bhandari excelled with 2 goals and assists each who extended her goals tally to a mammoth 28 goals in the league.
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