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IWL 2023-24: Odisha FC regain top position in the points table

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IWL 2023-24: Odisha FC regain top position in the points table

New Delhi, March 8 (Ajit Weekly News) Indumathi Kathiresan (20’), Pyari Xaxa (46’) and Lynda Kom (90’) scored a goal each as Odisha FC improved their chances of clinching the Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2023-24 title when they defeated HOPS FC 3-0 at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Friday.

With 25 points from 10 matches, the Bhubaneswar side have not only moved to the top of the table but have also managed to create a situation where they can walk away with the winners’ trophy by winning their last two matches.

IWL 2023-24 is no one-way race; at least two more teams, Gokulam Kerala FC and Kickstart FC, are very much in the hunt. While defending champions Gokulam Kerala have 23 points from 10 matches, breathing on their necks are Kickstart FC of Bengaluru, who have 20 points from nine matches.

However, all Odisha FC, who led 1-0 at half-time, will have to do now is win their next two outings against East Bengal and Kickstart to leave all other results redundant in the competition. But again, that won’t be easy; a series of poor results may make East Bengal more determined and Kickstart FC are still nurturing hopes to have a go at the title.

HOPS FC are a mid-table team with moderate results. Yet, with 13 points from nine matches, they are certainly no pushovers. Having a couple of good foreign recruits is their strength and they are good enough to trouble fancied sides.

However, on Friday, on their home turf, HOPS could hardly display the same flare except on a couple of occasions, when their two Ghanaian strikers, Fredrica Torkudodzor and Gladys Amfobea, caused enough trouble in the rival goalmouth.

Not that it bothered Odisha FC too much. Having weathered these occasional storms, thanks to a few brilliant saves by goalkeeper Shreya Hooda, the winners picked up their first goal in the 20th minute when a handball in the box forced the referee to award a penalty to Odisha FC. International Indumathi Kathiresan left the custodian Anshika stranded with a well-directed shot.

The second goal came immediately after the halftime. While Karthika Angamuthu did the spadework, Pyari Xaxa finished the job with a soft touch. Former India U17 skipper Lynda Kom made it 3-0 during the closing stages.

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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