By Arka Dyuti Palit
AIFF Media Team
SHILLONG: Gokulam Kerala FC decimated a hapless Indira Gandhi Academy SE side 6-1 to notch up their first win in the Hero Indian Women’s League 2017-18 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here in Shillong on Saturday (March 31, 2018)
Ugandan striker Ikwaput Fazila did bulk of the damage as she scored five times (32nd, 44th, 45+2nd, 58th, 76th) to notch up a resounding victory. Anita Rawat was the other scorer for Gokulam in the 81st minute while Sumithra Kamaraj scored the lone goal for Indira Gandhi ASE.
The match began with Gokulam coming strongly off the blocks. They made several inroads into the Indira Gandhi box with Fazila and Anita combining well. But their efforts didn’t yield a goal.
As was the case for Gokulam in their past two matches they conceded against the run of play despite their dominance, when Sumithra scored a stunner in the 24th minute. Her shot from a difficult angle going past Rumpa to give Indira the 1-0 lead.
The goal made Gokulam’s reserve even stronger as they drove forward in search of an equaliser. It did arrive in the 32nd minute when Fazila’s shot took a slight deflection into the Indira goal. Naocha had a chance to give Gokulam the lead but she missed a sitter.
Meanwhile at the other end Rumpa Malik pulled off a double save to keep parity in the 42nd. Just when it seemed Gokulam might be balking under pressure, Fazila calmed their nerves by striking from just outside the box in the 44th. She got her hattrick soon after as the referee signaled half-time.
With a 3-1 lead already, Gokulam didn’t sit back and continued their dominant run. They midfield directed all their forward passes to Fazila, who seemed to be in a groove of her own. She outclassed and outfoxed the Indira defence, who struggled to keep up with the Ugandan.
The 58th minute saw the striker score her fourth with a sweet pile driver past the keeper and then came the fifth in the 76th minute as wild celebrations and a celebratory dance followed.
Anita Rawat completed the rout with her long ranger in the 81st minute as a hapless Indira Gandhi ASE side could only look on.
Gokulam Kerala FC will now square off against Eastern Sporting Union on April 2 while Indira Gandhi ASE will take on Rising Student’s Club on April 4.
Posted on : Saturday March 31, 2018