In their opening match of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2023, Odisha FC registered a resounding 6-0 win over CRPF FC.
Odisha dominated the proceedings right from the beginning and had more of the ball possession. They made their first breakthrough in the 20th minute when Ngangom Bala Devi provided a defence-splitting pass, which resulted in International Dangmei Grace heading home to give her side a 1-0 lead.
There was no stopping Odisha after that as they took complete charge and used the width of the pitch to produce a good passing brand of football. In the 27th minute, Bala Devi was denied by the woodwork as her powerful header struck the wrong side of the post and bounced back into play. Nevertheless, Odisha FC doubled their lead two minutes later when Juli Kishan’s perfect cross inside the box from the left flank was squared off by Cynthia Marcondes.
Before heading into the break, Bala Devi and company found the back of the net twice more to take the game further away from CRPF’s reach. Ghanaian forward Faustina Worwornyo Akpo was the first to react on a loose ball inside the box as she slotted it home to make it 3-0, before Serto Lynda Kom tapped home the fourth goal in the additional time.
The winners maintained their tempo after switching sides and showed some good movements on the ball. With Bala Devi controlling the team’s engine in the middle, the team built on their rhythm from the first half. Finally, in the 65th minute, the Odisha skipper claimed the reward for her sheer quality throughout the game. The No. 10 received the ball just outside the box, took a peek at goal to spot the CRPF goalkeeper off the line and struck well into the top left corner.
Minutes later, Jasoda Munda put the game to bed by adding the sixth goal after she was left unmarked inside the box. Once again, it was Bala Devi’s dummy move that baffled the CRPF defence. The scoreline remained till the final whistle as Odisha marked a solid start to their Hero IWL campaign.
Lords put four past Celtic Queens
Elsewhere in Group B, Lords FA picked up a massive 4-0 win over Celtic Queens FC at the Shahibaug Police Stadium. The Kochi-based side had four different goalscorers in the morning, with Arya More, Dipika, Sasmita Behera and Akanksha Kandalkar all getting onto the scoresheet. The team was in its element as they started off their Hero IWL campaign with a resounding win, clearly a warning for other teams.
Eastern Sporting Union edge Kickstart
Earlier in the day at the TransStadia, Eastern Sporting Union edged Kickstart FC 1-0. Moirangthem Mandakini Devi’s first half strike was enough for the Manipuri side to down their Karnataka counterpart and grab the three points. (ANI)