ANI Photo | Indian Women’s League: Upbeat Gokulam Kerala to lock horns with bottom-placed Mata Rukmani

In their penultimate Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2023 Group A game, Gokulam Kerala FC will take on Mata Rukmani FC at the TransStadia on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 4:30 pm IST.
Having bagged 13 points from five games so far, the Malabarians have one foot firmly in the quarter-finals. In their previous game, the reigning champions registered a record 14-1 victory over Kahaani FC. Head coach Anthony Andrews reflected on the atmosphere in the dressing room ahead of the final two group stage games.
“The mood in the dressing room is positive and focused. The team is aware of the significance of these matches and the importance of performing well to advance to the next stage. We have been preparing hard and everyone is eager to give their best on the field,” Andrews was quoted as saying as per an All India Football Federation (AIFF) press release.
Andrews added a message to the team saying, “I want my team to stay focused and disciplined on the field. We need to stick to our game plan and execute our strategies effectively. Each player needs to give their best effort and work together as a team. We need to believe in ourselves and our abilities and give our all to achieve a positive result.”
On the other hand, Mata Rukmani has had an abysmal campaign so far, leaving them with no points in five games. Speaking about the team’s targets for the final two games, head coach Santanu Ghosh quoted, “The target is to score goals and keep a clean sheet in the remaining two games. My message to the team is to execute what we have planned and be confident.”
Misaka United face Kahaani in a must-win game
Earlier on the day at 8 am IST, a resurgent Misaka United head to the TransStadia looking for crucial three points against Kahaani FC. The team from Bengaluru have a meagre chance to finish in the top four and will be aiming to go all in for it.
Head coach Antony Dias stated ahead of the game, “We are determined to get the three points. We have lost far too many points due to draws. Hence, the girls are focused on getting the win.”
Meanwhile, Kahaani are yet to register their first points of the season and will be aiming to finish the campaign on a high. Despite the heavy loss against Gokulam Kerala, the head coach of the Ahmedabad-based side, Lalita Saini lauded the team for giving their 100 per cent.
“I know winning and losing is the lesson of the game, but the players gave their all. I am very happy about this and we will give our best in the upcoming matches and try to win them,” she averred.
Sports Odisha take on East Bengal in a high-stakes encounter
Sports Odisha and East Bengal head into a high-stakes encounter at the Shahibaug Police Stadium at 8 am IST. Both sides require a win to solidify their chances of finishing in the top four and will fight neck-and-neck on the day.
Sports Odisha are placed fourth in the table with nine points accumulated from five games. On the other hand, East Bengal stand as high as second, with 10 points from five games.
Ahead of the match, the Red and Gold Brigade boss Sujata Kar expressed her opinion on the contest on Tuesday. “Sports Odisha did not do well in the last match, so when they come up against us, they will try to give their best. I respect them as they are a good side. At the same time, we will stick to our strategy of winning.”
In their last game, Sports Odisha missed the chance to go second on the table as they went down 1-2 to Mumbai Knights. Anju’s goal gave Paromita Sit’s side the lead but the Knights came from behind to snatch the win. As such, three points against East Bengal tomorrow will be very valuable for Sports Odisha.
HOPS, Mumbai Knights look to cement last eight berth
Another crucial tie awaits the Shahibaug Police Stadium when HOPS FC take on Mumbai Knights FC at 4:30 pm IST. The two sides are in contention to qualify for the quarter-finals and will both aim to cement their positions in the top four.
While Mumbai Knights are placed third with 10 points in their bag, HOPS find themselves a solitary point below their counterparts. Ahead of their match-up, the Knights’ head coach Rutuja Gunwant stated, “It is a crucial game, but our preparations for all the games have been the same. We will stick to our team’s strengths and play accordingly. The mentality of the players after the kick-off will matter the most in this game.”
On the other hand, HOPS head coach Sanjay Singh shared a message for his team ahead of the tie, saying, “Trust in your abilities and those of your teammates. You belong to be amongst the best in the country. Respect the opponents and enjoy the challenge. Fight till the last whistle.” (ANI)

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