Ahmedabad, May 6 It will be another busy day in the Indian Women’s Football League (IWL) 2023 with top sides Sethu FC, Odisha FC, former champions Eastern Union SC and Kickstart FC playing key matches at various venues on Sunday.
Odisha FC will te on Lords FA Kochi in their fifth match of Group B at the Shahibaug Police Stadium here on Sunday.
After their defeat to Kickstart last week, Odisha have bounced back with thumping victories over Eastern Sporting Union (4-0) and Churchill Brothers (10-0). Crispin Chettri’s side is currently in third place, level on nine points alongside Kickstart, and three behind group leaders Sethu FC.
Speing on the eve of the match, Chettri stressed the significance of maintaining consistency. “We can’t te any side lightly and want to go with a winning mentality. The most important thing is to play as a team and be consistent,” he said.
On the other hand, things have gone downhill for Lords FA since their opening-day victory over Celtic Queens. Nirvan Shah’s side has lost their last three games in a row since then to Sethu, CRPF and most recently Kickstart on Friday.
Despite Camille Rodriguez’s red-hot form — the Filipina has scored all of her team’s last seven goals — Lords have been let down by their defensive frailties, conceding 13 goals in their last three defeats. It’s not going to get any easier for the Kerala side as they meet one of the league’s best-attacking units in Odisha.
Sethu look to maintain perfect record against CRPF
Sethu FC’s hundred per cent winning record in this season’s IWL will be on the line when they face Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) FC in Group B’s Sunday morning kick-off at the Shahibaug Police Stadium.
Sethu FC are the only team in the competition to have won all four of their matches so far. The Madurai side are top of the table with 12 points, three ahead of Kickstart and Odisha. Head coach, Joseph Naik credited their success to their unity on the pitch.
“We want to keep working as a team and give our hundred per cent against CRPF to keep our hundred per cent record in the league.
“CRPF occupy fourth place with seven points in four games. They put five past Lords FA in their last fixture on Friday, which head coach Uttam Singh Negi labelled as a ‘much-needed result’ in his side’s pursuit of a place in the knockout stage. “Sethu FC are the group leaders and a point against them will be a good result for us,” said Negi.
Eastern Sporting Union hope to bounce back
At the TransStadia, former IWL champions Eastern Sporting Union will look to return to winning ways when they face Churchill Brothers FC on Sunday evening.
Eastern Sporting Union have lost their last two games to Odisha (0-4) and Sethu (0-3) and will be desperate for all three points against Group B’s bottom side Churchill Brothers. Head coach Lourembam Ronibala Chanu revealed that they will be rotating a few players depending on the situation of the match to avoid fatigue ahead of their remaining matches.
Their opponents Churchill Brothers are still searching for their first-ever point in the Hero IWL. The Red Machines come into this game on the back of two heavy double-digit losses in a row (0-10 each to Kickstart and Odisha). Head coach Girijadevi Narayan Desai feels that they have nothing to lose against the former champions and will play for pride.
High-flying Kickstart face Celtic Queens
In the morning kick-off at the TransStadia on Sunday, Kickstart FC will look to me it four wins in a row as they face Celtic Queens FC. The side from Bengaluru beat Lords 4-1 on Friday after a sensational 10-0 victory over Churchill Brothers on Wednesday. Head coach Langam Chaoba Devi knows that her side will have one foot in the quarter-finals with a win over Celtic Queens tomorrow.
Celtic Queens FC will go into the fixture on a high after bagging their first-ever point in the Hero IWL, holding CRPF to a 2-2 draw in their previous match on Friday. That has surely given them some confidence ahead of facing last season’s third-placed team Kickstart.
Celtic Queens head coach Nitesh Sharma feels that facing a new team always poses new challenges. “Our players will be pushed to the limit and the players are ready for it. The inspiration drawn from our last match will give us some hope against Kickstart FC tomorrow,” said Sharma.
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The News Titan)
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