Gokulam Kerala crash out of AFC Women’s Club title race

Loses to Iranian side Shahrdari Sirjan; goalkeeper Aditi red-carded

Gokulam Kerala FC suffered a 0-1 defeat to Iranian side Shahrdari Sirjan to bow out of the AFC Women’s Club Championship in a match that saw goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan being sent off for bringing down and injuring an opposition player.

Superb free-kick

After a goalless first half, Shahrdari Sirjan broke the deadlock just after the hour mark through Afsaneh Chatrenoor’s superb free-kick to seal the three points late on Wednesday, with the goal coming minutes after Gokulam and India goalkeeper Aditi was sent off.

The Indian Women’s League (IWL) champion team is now out of the race for the title.

It had lost to Amman Club of Jordan in its opening match. It next plays Uzbekistan’s FC Bunyodkor on Saturday to avoid finishing at the bottom.

Four clubs from four countries are competing in this edition of the tournament, also known as 2021 FIFA–AFC Pilot Women’s Club Championship.

Final on Saturday

The result puts Shahrdari Sirjan, which defeated Uzbekistan’s FC Bunyodkor FC 2-1 in their opener, on six points and in for a title chance going into their final match against Jordan’s Amman Club on Saturday.

Gokulam Kerala’s Susan Ama Duah came close to scoring in the seventh minute but her header went into the arms of goalkeeper Arefeh Kazemi.

Poor challenge

Disaster struck Gokulam in the 65th minute when captain Aditi’s poor challenge on Alizadehabove the box saw the custodian sent off.

That shifted the momentum in Shahrdari Sirjan’s favour with Chatrenoor breaking the deadlock four minutes later when she curled her free-kick beyond the reach of substitute goalkeeper Shreya.

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