Kickstart FC holds former Champions for a goalless draw in their sixth group-stage match of the IWL

Kickstart FC holds former Champions for a goalless draw in their sixth group-stage match of the IWL

Ahmedabad: Kickstart FC faced off against former champions Sethu Madurai in their sixth group stage match of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) held in Ahmedabad. Kickstart FC’s coach Langam Chaoba Devi fielded the same line-up that secured a 5-0 victory against Celtic Queens FC in their previous match.

In the first half, both teams went toe-to-toe with Kickstart FC dominating in parts. Despite chances cropping up at both ends of the pitch, players failed to convert them. Early in the first half, Kickstart FC had to make a change as Kaviya was replaced by the Assamese winger Sonia Marak. The first half ended in a goalless draw, even after six minutes were added on as injury time.

The second half saw both teams going for the win in earnest. In the 62nd minute, Oinam Babita Devi came on to replace forward Devneta Roy and added some zing to the Kickstart forward play. In the 65th minute, a goal-mouth melee was cleared, much to Kickstart FC’s relief. In the 68th minute, an outstretched Saru Limbu sent in a good ball to the flanks to Sonia Marak, who crossed it into the box. The Sethu goalkeeper tried to collect the ball, and it spilled over, resulting in a goal-mouth action involving the substitute Babita Devi. However, Sethu Madurai managed to clear the danger. Saru Limbu, who has been a live wire at the heart of Kickstart midfield in all the group stage matches, combined with Astam Oraon to launch a long-range effort that shied away from the target.

Kickstart FC made two changes at the 80th-minute mark, with Anita Kumari replacing Elizabeth and Renuka coming on for Sonia Marak. Eight minutes were added on after the regulation time, but both teams failed to break the deadlock. In the 90+8th minute, a long-range effort from Sethu Madurai that went off target ended the match. Kickstart FC’s defense stood tall throughout the match, weathering everything thrown at them by the former champions Sethu Madurai.

Kickstart FC has secured a spot in the quarter-finals of the tournament as the top four teams from each group move forward. The final position of the teams in the group table will only be determined after the last group stage match on May 13th.

Bibicha Devi of Kickstart FC was named the Hero of the Match for her outstanding performance. Kickstart FC will next face CRPF FC on May 13 at 8:00 AM.

Full Time: Kickstart FC 0-0 Sethu Madurai

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