Indian Women’s League: Gokulam Kerala beats Odisha Police 7-0

Sabitra Bhandari scores five goals as Gokulam consolidates its position at the top of the Group B table.

Gokulam Kerala now has nine points from three games. - GETTY IMAGES (REPRESENTATIVE)

Gokulam Kerala registered a resounding 7-0 victory over Odisha Police in the Indian Women’s League (IWL) here on Saturday.

Sabitra Bhandari’s five-goal effort made all the headlines. Agbo Esperence and Grace Lalhauhnar scored two late goals.

The two halves were quite contrasting in nature. While the first was quite closely contested, the second was one-way traffic. Bhandari opened the scoring in the seventh minute, with a volley from the edge of the box which left the keeper with no chance.

Goals galore

Odisha Police was still in the game going into half-time but the contest was effectively over in the second half. Bhandari made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute after chasing down a loose clearance and heading it past the onrushing Odisha Police keeper, Tikina Samal. The Nepal international completed her hat-trick just a minute later through a brilliant solo effort, going past three defenders and slotting it home.

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Bhandari wasn’t done yet. She added her fourth in the 74th minute by converting a cross and a fifth one by rounding off the keeper. There was a shout for offside, but the flag stayed down. Bhandari was replaced by Agbo Esperence in the 86th minute, to a huge round of applause.

The substitute, who hails from Ivory Coast, made it 6-0 in the 90th minute, rounding off a wonderful solo effort. The seventh goal came from Grace Hauhnar in stoppage time as the match drew to a close.

The win consolidates Gokulam’s position as Group B leader with nine points in three games, while Odisha Police remained at fifth with three points.

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