All the blood, sweat and tears boil down to this moment for Sethu FC and Gokulam Kerala as they face-off in the Indian Women's League 2021-22 title-decider here at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
The two mighty sides have rubbed shoulders with each other throughout the season and are level in terms of points. Defending champions Gokulam Kerala have an edge at the top of the points table with a superior goal difference. Thus, the game on Thursday will be a do-or-die clash for either of the sides and promises to be an absolute thriller.
Crispin Chettri, Head Coach of Sethu FC shed light on the season so far and their approach for the ultimate clash. "This season has been very good for IWL. Gokulam Kerala are an experienced side, but we too have experienced players in our team. We also have the advantage of youth; players who will be eager to go into this kind of a match. It's an opportunity for them to show their potential and character."
"This match is all about my players. They need to have the belief that they are the best. If they do that, I think they can bring home the trophy," he stated.
Adding to his thoughts, Sethu FC captain Sandhiya Ranganathan also joined in to express her views. "Previously, we've faced tough opponents in Kickstart FC, Indian Arrows and SSB Women, but went into those games fully prepared and came back with the points."
The forward has been solid at the front for the Tamil Nadu-based side and will be looking to inspire her side to victory on the final day. "It's been a long journey and we are well-prepared and confident for the final game. We are ready to bring the trophy back home," she said.
Sethu are a side that has a number of local players from Tamil Nadu in their side, and their policy of promoting the players from the state has done wonders to take women's football forward together.
"Our club has been promoting a lot of local players over the years, and now we can see the results. We have so many talented young girls from Tamil Nadu, who have proved their worth for both club and the state, and have gone on to play for the national team as well," Sandiya added before concluding.
The Head Coach of Gokulam Kerala, Anthony Andrews also opened up on his side's preparations for the final game of the season. "It's an amazing feeling. The players are pumped up and everybody is looking forward to the match on the 26th. We are going to play the same way we've been playing in the last 10 games and stick to our plans."
Further adding to his testimony, Andrews said, "Sethu is a very good team. Their attacking unit is quite impressive. They have multiple goalscorers. We've seen their games and are ready to counter it."
Skipper Aditi Chauhan, who has been a wall in the Malabarians' goal throughout the season also expressed her thoughts going into the game. "It's been an incredible tournament. I'm glad that the title will be decided on the final day of the league, which is very exciting and the players are looking forward to it."
"Sethu are a good team with a good mix of local as well as national team players. It's going to be a tough job for us. We'll have to be at our 100 percent and go all out to win the league trophy this time," she went on to add.
The match between Sethu FC and Gokulam Kerala will be telecast live on Eurosport and can be streamed live from Indian Football YouTube Channel at 7:30 PM (IST).(ANI)