Gokulam Kerala start AFC Women's Club Championship 2021 campaign with a loss

The Indian side took the lead through Elshaddai Acheampong but eventually went down to Jordanian champions Amman SC 2-1 in the opening match of the tournament.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by Gokulam Kerala FC

India’s Gokulam Kerala FC lost 2-1 to Amman SC in their opening match of the AFC Women's Club Championship 2021 at the Aqaba Development Corporate Stadium in Jordan on Sunday.

Ghanaian striker Elshaddai Acheampong put Gokulam ahead in the first half but the Jordanian champions responded with two goals in the second period.

Amman FC, the home side in the competition and reigning women’s champions of Jordan, looked the better side in the early exchanges, enjoying the lion’s share of possession.

Indian goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan had a busy opening 30 minutes, making multiple crucial saves. In the 33rd minute, Aditi Chauhan was also heavily involved in the quick counter-attack which helped Gokulam take the lead against the run of play.

Aditi Chauhan’s long clearance allowed Gokulam’s new Ghanaian recruit Elshaddai Acheampong a rare run at the Amman FC goal. With the opposition goalkeeper off her line, Acheampong volleyed the ball over and into the net to score the first goal of the match.

The home team looked for a quick response with Shehnaz, playing in the right wing, creating a host of chances for the Amman club but poor finishing from Amman SC forwards ensured the scoreline remained 1-0 in Gokulam’s favour going into half-time.

Amman SC pushed for an equaliser in the second half and reaped the reward for their sustained pressure just before the hour-mark. A hand ball by Michel Castanha right at the edge of the Indian box saw the Jordanian team win a penalty.

Jbarah, the Amman SC captain, stepped up and beat Aditi Chauhan with the spot kick to restore parity.

Nine minutes later, the home team edged ahead courtesy of a brilliant free kick from S Ouni. Despite a tight angle, the Amman SC set piece specialist’s swerving strike eluded Aditi at full stretch.

Gokulam tried hard to claw their way back into the match, but the lead had already placed Amman SC on the driver’s seat. The hosts could have even extended the margin of the win if not for a couple of fine saves from Aditi Chauhan.

Gokulam Kerala’s next match in the AFC Women's Club Championship is against Iranian side Shahrdari Sirjan on Wednesday.

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