Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Kickstart beat HOPS, secure semi final spot in IWL

Kickstart FC Media 

Kickstart FC advanced to the semi-final stage of the Indian Women's League by defeating HOPS FC, Delhi with a score of 2-1 in the quarter-final match held in Ahmedabad. The opening goal was scored by Kaviya Pakkirisamy for Kickstart, but HOPS FC managed to equalize in the second half. However, substitute Kioko Elizabeth scored the winning goal in injury time, securing Kickstart FC's place in the semi-final.

Before the match, Coach Langam Chaoba Devi made one change to the line-up that won against CRPF FC in the last league stage match. Kaviya replaced Susmita Lepcha in the starting eleven.

In the first half, Kickstart FC dominated the game, keeping most of the action in HOPS FC's half. There was an early goal scare in the Kickstart FC penalty box due to a mix-up, but it was eventually cleared by the goalkeeper Maibam Linthoingambi Devi. After that, Kickstart FC put immense pressure on HOPS FC to find the opener. In the 17th minute, Sonia Mark delivered a good cross after some excellent work on the flanks. The HOPS FC goalkeeper parried it away, but it fell to Kaviya, who took a shot that deflected off the woodwork and found the back of the net. Despite taking the lead, Kickstart FC continued their pursuit of a second goal, but HOPS FC's defense held strong against all threats. In the 43rd minute, Kaviya's cross from the right flank hit the woodwork and fell to Sonia Marak, who set up Astam with a nice pass. However, Astam's shot missed the target. The first half ended with a score of 1-0 in favor of Kickstart FC, with six minutes of injury time added.

The second half started with HOPS FC intensifying their efforts to find the equalizer, putting immense pressure on Kickstart FC's defense. In the 62nd minute, they succeeded in scoring the equalizing goal through Renu Rani. Following HOPS FC's goal, Kickstart made substitutions, bringing in Babita Devi for Sonia Marak, Kioko Elizabeth for Renuka, and Susmita Lepcha for Kaviya. In the 85th minute, Saru Limbu, who had been in outstanding form during the league stages, sent a precise through ball to Bibicha Devi, who passed it on to Kioko Elizabeth. Unfortunately, her attempt was cleared off the goal line by the HOPS FC defense, averting the danger. However, in the 90+1' minute, Banti Sharma's high ball into the HOPS FC penalty box was headed in by Kioko Elizabeth, extending Kickstart FC's lead to 2-1. After taking the injury-time lead, Kickstart FC controlled the game and tried to increase their advantage, but HOPS FC's defense managed to hold on, and the final whistle blew with a score of 2-1 in favor of Kickstart FC.

In the semi-final, Kickstart FC will face the winners of the match between Sethu, Madurai, and East Bengal FC.

Captain Dalima Chhiber of Kickstart FC was awarded the Hero of the Match title for her outstanding performance.


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