Xaxa helps Sports Odisha salvage point, Gokulam thumps Kickstart

While Sports Odisha earned a point, Gokulam Kerala maintained its 100 per cent start to the season with a trouncing 5-0 win over Kickstart FC.

SSB Women was held to a 1-1 draw by Sports Odisha in their Indian Women's League (IWL) match at the 7th Battalion Ground here on Saturday.

The team from West Bengal was on the attack from kickoff and found several breakthroughs in the first half. Naorem Sumila Chanu, Sandhya Kachhap and Ngangom Anibala Devi all came close to scoring but failed to convert in the attacking third.

On one occasion in the 29th minute, Sports Odisha almost took a surprise lead in the game. However, Pyari Xaxa's strike from inside the box was ruled out by the referee for a foul that took place in the build up.

Eventually, the Sports Odisha defence paved the way and SSB Women took a much-needed lead in the 41st minute. Sandhya Kachhap came in from the right flank and bundled the Sports Odisha goalkeeper to find the back of the net.

Sports Odisha enjoyed more possession of the ball in the second half. In the 87th minute, Pyari Xaxa missed a golden opportunity to pull one back for the local side.

The forward failed to place the ball inside an open goal following a mismatch from the SSB Women goalkeeper.

However, she went on to make amends and scored in the 90th minute. Xaxa beat the SSB Women goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation and slotted the ball home to make it 1-1.

The No. 10's strike came in at a crucial time for Sports Odisha as the referee blew the full-time whistle, resulting in both sides taking home a point each. Sports Odisha is fourth with 13 points, while SSB is sixth with nine.

Five-star Gokulam Kerala trounce Kickstart FC

Gokulam Kerala trounced Kickstart FC 5-0 at the Capitol Ground. GKFC has 21 points after seven wins in as many matches, while Kickstart is third with 18 points.

The Malabarians picked up from where they left in the previous game and scored an early goal. Manisha Kalyan's cross from the left flank was directed towards the goal by Elshaddai Acheampong in the 7th minute.

Within five minutes, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi doubled the lead for Gokulam Kerala. She beat the goalkeeper from the penalty spot after Dangmei Grace was fouled inside the box.

At the hour mark, Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi scored to make it 3-0 for Gokulam Kerala. The No. 10's corner kick was too hot to handle for Kickstart FC goalkeeper Maibam Linthoingambi Devi as she spilled it into her own net.

However, it was Manisha Kalyan who stole the show with a moment of brilliance in the 80th minute. The prolific forward made a perfect turn at the edge of the box and sent in a left-footed curler into the top left corner to make it 4-0.

To put a cherry on top for Gokulam Kerala, Kalyan set Karishma Shirvoikar up in the added time and the youngster tapped the ball in to complete a magnificent victory.

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