A riveting final which saw KRYPHSA FC cut down Gokulam’s two goal lead only to be undone by a late winner by the inimitable Sabitra Bhandari!
FULL-TIME: KRYPHSA FC 2-3 Gokulam Kerala FC
[Dangmei Grace 33’, Ratanbala Devi 72’ – Prameshwori Devi 1’, Kamala Devi 25’, Sabitra Bhandari 87’]
Gokulam started the match on the front foot and took the lead in the first minute. The Nepalese forward Sabitra’s cross into the box found the feet of Irom Prameshwori Devi who applied a deft finish into the back of the net.
The side from Kerala would double their lead in the 25th minute when Yumnam Kamala Devi’s free kick from just outside the box caught a defection and beat the excellent Linthoingambi Devi between the sticks. Kamala left a little bit in the celebration for the KRYPHSA coach and Indian NT assistant coach Chaoba Devi – the history of the spat which you can read here.
Gokulam were in the ascendancy and looked like they could score more with the very physical Samba and Manisha running beyond the KRYPHSA defence often. But KRYPHSA would find their way back in the 33rd minute after winning a free kick on the left flank. Ranjana Chanu’s ball into the box was flicked on by Anju Tamang and the ball fell in the path of Dangmei Grace who turned it in. The teams went into the half-time break with GKFC leading 2-1.
The initial part of the second half was cagey between the two sides. In the 72nd minute, KRYPHSA found the equaliser after an exceptional through ball by Roja Devi fell in the path of Ratanbala in the box and she obliged with a finish.
A few minutes later, Dangmei Grace who was a live wire on the flanks today had a couple of free headers in the Gokulam box, but she spurned the opportunity to score the winner.
But Gokulam did not fritter the chance that came their way. In the dying minutes of the second half, Manisha who was magnificent on the left flank all afternoon slid a ball into Sabitra who in turn found the roof of the net. The winner came in the 87th minute for the Malabarians and the top goalscorer Sabitra scored her 19th of the tournament!
On the path to their maiden Indian Women’s League title, Gokulam Kerala defeated defending champions Sethu FC three goals to nil in the semis which should and will add more sheen to what they’ve achieved today!
PATH TO THE FINAL
KRYPHSA FC 3-1 Kenkre FC
Gokulam Kerala FC 3-0 Sethu FC
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Ratanbala Devi
Highest scorer: Sabitra Bhandari
Best Goalkeeper: Linthoingambi Devi
Emerging Player of the Tournament: Manisha
Sabitra Bhandari, Gokulam Kerala FC, 19 GOALS
Sandhiya, Sethu FC, 13 GOALS
Ratanbala Devi, KRYPHSA FC, 10 GOALS
Yumnam Kamala Devi, Gokulam Kerala FC, 8 GOALS
Soumya Guguloth, Kenkre FC, 7 GOALS
For group tables, fixtures and results, visit our Indian Women’s League (IWL) page.