Star-studded Eastern Sporting Union bagged their second win of the ongoing inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) as the Bembem Devi led side defeated FC Pune City 3-1 to go second in the league table with six points, a point adrift of leaders Alakhpura FC, today (February 02, 2017) at the Ambedkar Stadium in the Capital.
A Kamala Devi brace (36’, 42’) and Kashmina’s late strike (70’) proved enough for ESU to steam past their opponents after Alisha Ranikhetwala had pulled a goal back in the 65th minute.
Both Teams however, were slow to get off the blocks and tested each other’s waters in midfield before launching any attack. Eastern Sporting Union relied on the experience of veteran Bembem Devi to jot passes in the midfield, while FC Pune City’s captain Dalima Chhibber thwarted the passes away in an attempt to make up even possession.
Mandakini’s pace on the wings opened up attacking channels for ESU on the flanks, which FC Pune City defended by committing bodies around their defensive third. Apart from a 20th minute Bembem freekick, which came close to taking the lead for ESU, chances for both the Teams were few.
ESU’s constant hovering around FC Pune City’s 18 yard box reaped benefits in the 36th minute when Kamala Devi latched onto a faulty clearance and tapped home from handshaking distance to give ESU a solitary goal lead.
Six minutes later, Kamala once again burst into FC Pune City’s 18 yard box chasing a long ball, controlling it with her left foot and then switching it to her right before half volleying it into the back of the net to double ESU’s lead. The half-time scoreline read 2-0.
Eastern Union began with the same intensity as they finished the first half and tested the FC Pune City’s custodian. In the 57th minute, Umapati’s header off Bemem Devi’s corner nearly crept in the net.
Three minutes later Kashmina was awarded an excellent opportunity to put the tie to rest when she went clear onto goal following a Premi Devi pass. Kashmina however shot wide of the goal.
In the 65th minute, FC Pune City pulled one goal back as Alisha Ranikhetwala’s shot was misjudged by ESU’s custodian and fell into the back of the net to reduce the margin.
Little effect did it have on ESU as even after conceding, they launched wave after wave of attack keeping FC Pune City under pressure. And in the 70th minute, Kashmina rounded off an onrushing Rumpa Malik and scored to restore ESU’s two goal lead, following an exquisite dink through ball by Premi Devi as the scoreline read 3-1.
The full-time scoreline read 3-1 as ESU registered an easy win over FC Pune City.
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)