IWL 2023 | Kickstart FC maintain undefeated streak against Sethu Madhurai FC
Wednesday's Indian Women's League match between Sethu Madurai FC and Kickstart FC at the TransStadia ended in a scoreless tie. The two teams were competing for first place in Group B.
The outcome maintained Kickstart's five-game winning streak alive while ending Sethu's unblemished streak and shattering their previous perfect record. However, it came at the expense of losing a seat at the table for the latter.
The match was equally matched throughout, with neither team taking advantage of many opportunities to seize the lead or put the game away. The outcome was especially difficult for Sethu Madurai to accept because they were given considerably better opportunities but were denied by Maibam Linthoigambi Devi in the Kickstart goal.
In the 22nd minute, Linthoi was at her finest when Kajol Dsouza had an opportunity to score the game's first goal due to a defensive blunder with a Priyangka Devi cross. The striker has nine goals in the league thus far, but a diving Linthoi managed to stop her in her tracks at the last second.
Soon after, another outstanding save occurred, this time from an attempt by Apurna Narzary. As Narzary twisted and moved away from her markers, she curled a shot towards the far corner, only to see a diving Linthoi manage to deflect it.
Laishram Bibicha Devi and Devneta Roy both created opportunities for Kickstart, but they were unable to capitalise on them. Bibicha Devi's tenacious performance in the Kickstart midfield earned her the Player of the Match honour.
Odisha FC defeated Celtic Queens and moved up to second place in Group B
With a 3-0 win over Celtic Queens FC at the Shahibaug Police Stadium, Odisha FC took advantage of the tie between Sethu and Kickstart to move up a spot in the standings. With only one round of games remaining, the quarterfinalists from the group have already been determined, but the position achieved might be very important for the draw for the following round.
In the third minute of the game, Faustina Worwornyo scored to give Odisha the lead, and they never looked back.
In the extra period of the first half, Bannya Kabiraj extended their advantage, and in the last seconds of play, S Lynda Kom ended the game. Anju Tamang won Player of the Match for maintaining her calm in the centre of the pitch.
At the TransStadia, Eastern Sporting Union defeated CRPF in a close but significant victory. The former IWL champions won with a goal in the 52nd minute from Irom Prameshwori Devi.
With one group stage match remaining, the victory also ensures them a place in the tournament's quarterfinals. For her game-winning goal, Prameshwori was also named the Player of the Match.
Churchill Brothers defeated Lords FA Kochi 3-1 to get their first victory of the year at the Shahibaug Police Stadium. Riya Sharma's goal two minutes prior to halftime gave Churchill the lead in a fiercely contested battle. However, Kathleen Rodriguez converted a penalty kick inside the first ten minutes of the second half to pull Lords FA even. Her eighth goal of the year made it the third-highest total in the league.
The last 15 minutes of the match made all the difference, though. Churchill's Saniya added a second goal in the 79th minute and a third in stoppage time to secure the Goan team's first victory of the year. The forward's game-changing performance earned her the title of Player of the Match.