Sabitra Bhandari’s late goal propel Gokulam Kerala to maiden Hero IWL title in a thrilling finale

Gokulam Kerala clinched their maiden Hero IWL title after sabitra Bhandari's late goal propelled the Kerala outfit to a 3-2 win over KYRPSHA in a nail biting finale on Thursday.

Gokulam Kerala clinched their maiden Hero IWL title after sabitra Bhandari’s late goal propelled the Kerala outfit to a 3-2 win over KYRPSHA in a nail biting finale on Thursday.

The star studded Gokulam side coached by PV Priya lifted the trophy at the Bangalore Football Stadium as Prameshwori Devi (1′), Kamala Devi (25′) and Sabitra Bhandari (87′) scored for the Malabarians. Dangmei Grace (33′) and Ratanbala Devi (71′) scored for Krypsha.

Gokulam Kerala scripted their name alongside Sethu FC, Rising Student’s Club and Eastern Sporting Union to be among the champions of the IWL.

The Malabarians took the lead after just 49 seconds on the clock. Kryphsa were caught napping when a speculative clearance from the Gokulam half found Sabitra Bhandari. She got away with her sheer pace before delivering an inviting cross into the box. Prameshwori Devi was the first to react and found the back of the net with an instinctive finish.

In the 25th minute, Kamala Devi curling effort took a deflection of the yellow wall and crept beyond the reach of keeper Linthoingambi Devi, who didn’t stand a chance as Gokulam doubled the lead.

KRYPHSA came back strong with an immediate goal as Ranjan Chanu’s immaculate set-piece delivery from the left found Anju Tamang, who managed to flick it to the far post with the back of her head. Gokulam keeper Aditi Chauhan’s punch lacked power, leaving Dangmei Grace with an empty goal to aim at as the deficit was reduced to 1 goal.

End to end football ensued as both sides looked for goal, Gokulam entered the break with goal lead while KRYPHSA looked to carry forward the momentum in the 2nd half. Midway through the second half, Kryphsa’s Roja Devi chipped one into the box and Ratanbala Devi did brilliantly to read her intent and make the overlapping run. She stretched her favoured right foot and got the touch she was hoping for, beating an onrushing Aditi Chauhan to get her side back on level terms.

With just three minutes remaining of normal time, Sabitra Bhandari — the league’s top scorer — found a late winner for Gokulam as she struck home with a tap-in off a cross from Manisha Kalyan.

For stats, timeline, pictures on this game, visit here—> Match Center

The award-winners at the presentation ceremony were as follows:

Champions: Gokulam Kerala FC (Prize of Rs. 1000000/-)

Runners-up: Kangchup Road Young Physical and Sports Association (KRYPHSA) FC (Prize of Rs. 500000/-)

Most Valuable Player (MVP): Ms. Ratanbala Devi of KRYPHSA FC (Prize of Rs. 125000/-)

Highest scorer: Ms. Sabitra Bhandari of Gokulam Kerala FC (Prize of Rs. 100000/-)

Best Goalkeeper: Ms. Linthoingambi Devi of KRYPHSA FC (Prize of Rs. 100000/-)

Emerging Player of the Tournament: Ms. Manisha of Gokulam Kerala FC (Prize of Rs. 75000/-)

For fixtures, group standings, feature articles, match reports and tournament stats on Hero IWL, visit here–> Hero Indian Women League


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