2016 AIFF Player of the Year Sasmita Malik’s hat-trick set the tone for the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) as Rising Student Club, Odisha came back from behind to beat Aizawl FC 6-1 on the opening day at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi on Saturday (January 28, 2016). The winners led 3-1 at the interval.
It was Aizawl FC who surged into the lead as early as the 4th minute – Elizabeth’s effort beating a diving Sukanti Raul under the Rising bar.
However, Rising Student Club, boasting of as many as eight international players in the Starting XI pulled it back some nine minutes later – Anju Tamang slotting it home.
Some ten minutes later Prari Xaxa, dubbed as the one for the future, set the tone hitting the target.
2016 AIFF Player of the Year Sasmita Malik, a bit subdued till then, tried to get into the thick of things but was foiled in a 1v1 situation by Aizawl FC goalkeeper Lalhruaizeli Changte.
Sasmita eventually put her name in the score sheet in the 41st minute, her placement making it 3-1 prior to the interval.
Changing over, Sasmita made it 4-1 in the 77th minute, her sublime left foot doing the trick once again. Quick to spot Zeli off her line, she chipped it over her head.
Anju made it 5-1 in the 88th minute – her powerful shot beating Zeli hands down and then two minutes later, Sasmita completed the rout.
Sasmita was declared the Player of the Match winning Rs. 5000 in the process.
“It was a good boost for us,” she said. “This victory will make us confident as we progress further in the League. We have worked very hard for the first edition of the IWL,” she said.
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)