Indian Women's League: Gokulam Kerala, FC Alakhpura post wins on opening day

Gokulam Kerala cruised to a 5-0 win over defending champion Rising Student Club, while FC Alakhpura defeated Hans Women's FC 1-0 on the opening day of the Indian Women's League.

Action from the Indian Women's League (IWL) encounter between Gokulam Kerala FC and Rising Student Club.   -  AIFF MEDIA

Gokulam Kerala FC rode on Manisha's hat-trick to hand defending champion Rising Student Club a 5-0 thrashing on the opening day of the Indian Women's League (IWL) at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Sunday.

Gokulam got off to a phenomenal start and took the lead in the 12th minute when Dalima played it in to Sanju, who calmly put it in the back of the net. Seven minutes later, Manisha powered past her marker into the opposition box and placed it past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

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Gokulam tripled its lead on the 28th minute as Anju Tamang buried Ranjana's pass into the back of the net.

A tactical switch by Gokulam coach Priya PV in the second half saw Manisha switch positions with Anju upfront. The move paid off as Manisha bagged her second goal of the tie in the 72nd minute and completed her hat-trick six minutes later to round off a dominating victory.

- FC Alakhpura gets past Hans Women's FC -

In the earlier tie, FC Alakhpura secured a 1-0 win over Hans Women's FC. India U-18 international Samiksha scored the only goal of the match for the Haryana-based club.

FC Alakhpura drew first blood through Samiksha in the 17th minute. The forward was played through inside the opposition area and she rounded the opposition goalkeeper to find the back of the net.

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Hans striker Anushka Samuel came close to drawing the scores level in the second half, when she made her way into the box from the right and just had to put it past the 'keeper from a bit of an angle, but Alakhpura custodian Neelam made a fine save to keep her side ahead.

Despite the incessant attacks, Hans Women's kept finding spaces on the counter. Anushka was in the thick of the action again as she twisted and turned a defender and played Jyoti Burrett into space, but the latter scuffed her shot wide.