• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Gokulam Kerala scores a brace against the Indian Air Force Football Team

Former champions Gokulam Kerala FC registered a 2-0 win over the Indian Air Force Football Team (IAFFT) in a Group C match of the 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup, here at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK). Sourav and Sreekuttan scored on either side of the half as the IAFFT could not match up to the Malabarians, despite Sourav Sadhukan coming in the second-half and showing enterprise in front of goal. This was the first match of the group which also has Kerala Blasters and defending champions Bengaluru FC in it.


The first good chance for Gokulam came just before the 20-minute mark when Noufal broke through on the right, but his cut back in for an onrushing Nili Perdomo, saw the Spaniard shoot way-above the target.


The IAFFT then had a chance of their own five minutes later when Vivek Kumar shot on the turn from just outside the box, but it was too feeble a shot to disturb Zothanmawia in the Gokulam goal.


The goal came thanks to a blunder by Shibinraj, after an innocuous attempt on goal by Sourav, saw the experienced Air Force keeper misjudge the bounce and direct his save into his own goal inadvertently. Sourav was justly rewarded though for being the most adventurous of the Malabarians in the half.


Alex Sanchez, the second Spaniard in the eleven then missed an opportunity to double that lead but a one-goal lead is what Gokulam took to the break.


As the second half rolled on, Rahul Raju was booked early in the second half for Gokulam and soon on the hour-mark scorer Sourav pulled up forcing gaffer Domingo Cabrera to make a double change. Shijin replaced the injured Sourav while Abhijith came on for Rahul Raju. IAFFT’s Priya Darshan also brought on Zico Zorem Sanga upfront, taking out Naorem Somananda Singh from midfield.


Soon after Zico did get a golden chance to equalize, but the goal came again to the Malabarians and from a substitution made by Cabrera at the beginning of the half.


Sreekuttan, who had come in place of Noufal, broke away after being put through by Sanchez and with a marker in front of him, unleashed a right-footed dink from outside the box which dipped over a full-stretch Shibinraj. It was perhaps the best goal seen so far in the tournament.


The insurance goal in the bag, the Malabarians did let the foot off the pedal a bit and that was when Saurav Sadhukan, brought on late in the second half, almost made them pay twice with two opportunistic attempts.


It was not to be and Gokulam ran away comfortable winners.


Source: Army Authorities 

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