IWL 2020: Gokulam Kerala, Bangalore United register close wins

Gokulam Kerala earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sreebhumi FC, whereas Bangalore United edged past Bidesh XI with a 2-1 victory on Sunday in the IWL.

Sabitra Bhandari of Gokulam Kerala FC celebrating after her goal against Sreebhumi FC in the Hero IWL.

Sabitra Bhandari of Gokulam Kerala FC celebrating after her goal against Sreebhumi FC in the Hero IWL.   -  Special Arrangement

Gokulam Kerala FC registered a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sreebhumi Football Club to get its Indian Women’s League (IWL) campaign underway with three points. Sabitra Bhandari scored the solitary goal of the game in the 67th minute.

The first half was largely dominated by Gokulam in terms of possession, but Sreebhumi did ever so well to stand its ground and keep its opponent at bay. The game remained goalless going into the breather, with Gokulam in the ascendency.

In the second half, the tempo remained the same as the Malabarians continued to overload the final third but risked getting caught on the counter.

In the 67th minute, a howler from goalkeeper Malik served Gokulam the lead on a platter. Malik misjudged the flight of the cross played into the box, which allowed Sabitra Bhandari to capatalise on the error.

Bangalore United gets past Bidesh XI

Bangalore United Football Club (BUFC) fought off late resilience from Bidesh XI Sports Club to register a 2-1 win. A brace from Satyabati Khadia gave BUFC a two-goal cushion, but a late strike from Bidesh’s Sushmita Jadhav accounted for a nervy finish.

BUFC drew first blood in the 21st minute when a defence-splitting through ball from skipper Amalya Kamal put Satyabati Khadia through on goal. Her first touch was heavy, which took the ball past her. Just when the chance seemed to have gone begging with the angle getting tighter, she completely wrong-footed the keeper and chipped it over her with deft finesse.

In the 59th minute, Bidesh goalkeeper Astrid Savia Pereira found herself in a tough spot again. Trying to catch a routine long ball, she made a total hash of it and let it fumble through her hands. Alert to the mistake, Satyabati latched onto the loose ball and rounded it off into an empty net to score her second.

Bidesh lacked imagination going forward, but in the 86th minute, a momentary lapse of concentration in the Bangalore defence allowed the chasing pack to pull one back, when Sushmita Jadhav slotted home a rebound, after goalkeeper Vinaya Seshan had initially made a good save.

The strike ensured a nervy ending, but Bangalore United held on to walk away with the three points.

  Dugout videos