February 7, 2020

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Gokulam Kerala close Hero IWL Group Stage with 5-star win

Bidesh XI – 0
Gokulam Kerala – 5 (Kamala Devi 4’, Scindia Saundatikar (OG) 57’, Sabitra Bhandari 63’, Umapati Devi 82’, Karishma Shirvoikar 86’)

Bengaluru, February 07, 2020: Having already qualified for the Hero Indian Women’s League (IWL) semi-finals, Gokulam Kerala wrapped up their final Group B fixture with a thoroughly dominant win over Bidesh XI at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Friday (February 07).

Kamala Devi broke the deadlock in the first half before an own goal early on in the second half put Gokulam in cruise control. Sabitra Bhandari added the third, which was followed up by a wonder-strike from Umapati Devi. Karishma Shirvoikar added the final cherry on the top to make it five.

Bidesh XI, having lost all five of their group fixtures, were looking to make a point against the group leaders but the Malabarians, despite having already qualified for the last four, didn’t let their foot off the pedal.

Kamala Devi drew first blood, after catching the Bidesh defenders napping on the break in the 4th minute. They had the lion’s share of possession and remained assured with the ball. Bidesh did little to strike trouble but went into the break just a goal behind.

The floodgates opened in the second half, starting in the 57th minute. With a flurry of heads vying for the ball, it eventually went in off the back of a Bidesh’s Scindia Saundatikar, who had the misfortune of carrying an own goal to her name.

Talismanic forward Sabitra Bhandari showed her class, leaving three Bidesh defenders at bay before a thunderbolt strike from Umabati Devi from near the halfway line produced a goal that is worthy of being played over and over again.
Karishma Shirvoikar added the fifth goal to seal the score, as Bidesh end their IWL campaign on a disappointing note. – AIFF

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