IWL 2023-24: HOPS FC hand East Bengal their third defeat of the season

Gladys Amfobea scored the lone goal for the HOPS FC as East Bengal suffered their third consecutive defeat of the IWL 2023-24 season in Kolkata.

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Koushik Biswas
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IWL 2023-24: HOPS FC hand East Bengal their third defeat of the season

East Bengal suffered their third consecutive defeat in the Indian Women's League against HOPS FC in Kolkata. Image | East Bengal

East Bengal FC Women suffered their third consecutive defeat against HOPS FC at their own ground in Kolkata in the ongoing IWL 2023-24. Gladys Amfobea scored the lone goal for the HOPS FC to give them their first win of the tournament.

East Bengal coach Dipankar Biswas was forced to make two changes in their playing due to injury from their last IWL game against Sethu FC. Prameshwori Devi and TH Sahena made the start for the Moshal Girls in their first game of the year. East Bengal looked nervous from the start and HOPS took full advantage of that.

In the 4th minute of the game, if it was not for Sarita Yumnam's goal line clearance, East Bengal would have conceded early. East Bengal players looked clueless whenever HOPS FC players had the ball on their feet, and it was quite evident that they were without any proper plan in their first fifteen minutes of the game.

East Bengal FC's Margaret Devi fighting out for a ball against HOPS FC defender Mamta in the IWL 2023-24 match between East Bengal and HOPS FC in Kolkata.
East Bengal FC's Margaret Devi fighting out for a ball against HOPS FC defender Mamta in the IWL 2023-24 match between East Bengal and HOPS FC in Kolkata.

Margaret Devi and Sulanjana Raul were the only two players who looked in some confidence as Margaret tried to make some run with the ball with Sulanjana doing some good work on the left flank in the 10th minute of the match.

In the 21st minute, East Bengal again found themselves in the backfoot when Gladys Amfobea's volley nearly went into the goal. However, East Bengal made a quick comeback as they found their mojo after the 25th minute of the game.

Both Margaret and Sulanjana were the visionaries for the home team while Micheal Castanha and Sarita tried to block everything that were coming at them. In the 25th minute, Margaret missed a volley from Trisha's cross on the right and then Margaret failed to convert from a pass by Sulanjana who had made a long run with the ball before that.

Also Read: IWL 2023-24: Sethu FC defeat East Bengal FC 2-4 at their home as fans welcome Women's Football in Kolkata

In the 36th minute, HOPS were forced to make their first change as Tannu was injured after a tussle with one of the East Bengal defenders. Pooja came in to replace her.

The first half ended in goalless draw and East Bengal were the happier one going into the break. But, it was HOPS who raised their game to notch higher to get their first goal of the match.

East. Bengal FC players found it tough to stop HOPS FC's Gladys Amfobea.  Image | East Bengal FC
East. Bengal FC players found it tough to stop HOPS FC's Gladys Amfobea. Image | East Bengal FC

Gladys Amfobea, HOPS FC's foreign recruit scored one of the best goals of the tournament to give them the lead. A right-footed curler 25 yards from the goal, left Melodi Chanu and all the East Bengal fans stunned.

After the goal, East Bengal did tried to go toe-to-toe and shoulder-to-shoulder against HOPS but the physicality and speed of HOPS' players made it difficult for them. In the 57th minute, Sahena made a goalline clearnece to deny HOPS their second goal. Six minutes later, Melody made a brilliant save to deny their third. Fredrica Torkudzor, another forgein recruit of the HOPS team, with the chance on both the occasions.

Neha fighting for a ball against East Bengal captain Trisha Mallick.  Image | East Bengal FC
Neha fighting for a ball against East Bengal captain Trisha Mallick. Image | East Bengal FC

The game a bit uglier as both the teams started to play more physical game and we saw some yellow cards too. HOPS defender Mamta was the first one to get the first card after a bad tackle on Margaret Devi. But, among that physical game, it was Neha, a former India U-17 Women's player to impressed one and all with her speed and game awareness from the left flank.

Though East Bengal did their best to somehow level the score, HOPS did not let them have an inch extra on the field. At the end, Gladys Amfobea's goal proved to be good enough for HOPS to earn their first win of the tournament.

Fredrica Torkudzor was the player of the match in the East Bengal vs HOPS FC match in IWL 2024.

The red and gold brigade are currently at number five position on the IWL 2023-24 points table after three losses and one win in the league. East Bengal will play their next match in IWL 2024 against Odisha FC on 18th January at their home ground.

After the match, East Bengal coach Dipankar Biswas said, "Our girls went shoulder-to-shoulder against a team that had physical advantage on the field. Yes, the schedule has made the girls a bit tired, but I am proud of the way our girls played today."

HOPS FC coach Om Prakash Chhibber said, "It feels great to win against a team like East Bengal who have a great history in Indian Football. This is our first win of the tournament. So, a great start to the year 2024. This will surely give the team a great confidence."

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