Manipur Police humble Gokulam Kerala to reach IWL Final

AIFF Media
Second half hat-trick from Bala Devi send Gokulam Kerala packing...

Manipur Police registered a resounding 4-2 win over Gokulam Kerala in the Indian Women's League (IWL) semi-final to book a place in the finals.

Bala Devi was imperial form and scored four goals, three after the break, to overturn a 2-1 deficit.

It was a nervy start from Gokulam and on the 15th-minute mark, Bala Devi was pulled down inside the box by Wangkhem Devi as she was setting herself up to fire a shot at goal. The skipper stepped up and scored from the spot by slotting the ball into the top-right corner.

Gokulam found the equaliser in the 34th minute with some luck as Bina Devi turned the ball into her own net while defending a corner.

After the resumption of play after the break, it were the Malabarians who took the lead. Manipur's Romi Devi blocked a shot from Anju Tamang that was destined for goal and the referee had no qualms in awarding a penalty to Gokulam after sending-off the offender.

Ranjana Chanu made no mistake from 12 yards and put Gokualm in the lead.

After going down Bala Devi decided to take matters in her own hands and scored thrice in the remaining minutes. In the 68th minute, she converted another penalty after Dalima Chhibber brought down Moirangthem Devi inside the box.

With 10 minutes to go from the final whistle, she completed her hat-trick after Daya Devi dribbled past the entire Gokulam defence to set up her captain.

Minutes later, Bala Devi out-classed fullback Linthoi to rifle a shot at the bottom left-corner to stifle any hope for a Gokulam comeback.

The northeastern team would now face the winners of Sethu FC and Central SSB Women in the final.