AIFF Media Team
AHMEDABAD: Attention turns towards defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC once again as they take on Group A opponents Kahaani FC in the Hero Indian Women’s League 2023, at the Shahibaug Police Stadium on Saturday, May 6.
Despite being held to a surprise goalless draw by Misaka United in the previous match, the Malabarians are still placed at the top of the Group A standings with a one-point cushion over East Bengal FC and Sports Odisha. They have 10 points from four matches.
Commenting on the Misaka United match, Gokulam Head coach Anthony Andrews said: "We faced an opponent, who played to their strengths, which is to play defensively, and we are disappointed that we were unable to break their wall. We understand that every team has their style of play, and we respect the tactics of our opponents. We are confident that we have the quality in our team to create more goal-scoring opportunities and we will do everything we can to come out with a positive result."
On the match against Kahaani, Andrews added: "Our approach to the game against Kahaani will depend on their playing style, strengths, and weaknesses. We will analyse their previous games and identify their key players and tactics to prepare a counter-strategy."
Interestingly, Ahmedabad-based Kahaani are still searching for their first points of the season after four matches and have not scored a goal yet. Their Head Coach Lalita Saina said: "I believe we should not let the morale of our players go down and keep them motivated for all the upcoming matches."
Misaka United FC look to do an encore
At the TransStadia at 4:30 pm IST, Misaka United and East Bengal will lock horns in an entertaining clash. Misaka United are coming on the back of a positive result as they held group leaders Gokulam Kerala to a goalless draw.
Speaking of the match, Head Coach Antony Dias said, "Although the draw does give us a morale boost, we are very well aware that the next game is a new game and against new opponents. So, we will have to be at our best against a very consistent team like East Bengal."
Kolkata club East Bengal are also on an impressive run after bagging wins in their last three fixtures. "I am confident in my team and we will keep up to the winning score and stick to our strategy of winning," stated head coach Sujata Kar.
Knights aim for a successful encounter
After facing their first defeat of the Hero IWL season in the previous encounter, Mumbai Knights aim to bounce back stronger when they face Sports Odisha at the TranStadia at 8 am IST. The Maharashtra-based side won their first three games of the season and it will be interesting to find out whether they can put up a fight against Sports Odisha on Saturday.
The latter, on the other hand, have been in fine form having won their previous two fixtures. Placed two points above their rivals, Sports Odisha will aim to keep pushing for the top spot.
HOPS hoping for another win
Two sides with contrasting forms, HOPS and Mata Rukmani, will clash at the Shahibaug Police Stadium at 4:30 pm IST. New Delhi-based HOPS registered a massive 6-0 win over Kahaani in their previous fixture. Head coach Sanjay Singh said his side will be looking to maintain momentum.
“We trust our players to deliver when it matters the most. We trust the depth of our squad and the physical and mental strength of our players to carry forward the winning run in the remaining three group matches.”