I-League: Churchill Brothers survives late Gokulam Kerala scare to extend lead atop

Churchill Brothers defeated Gokulam Kerala 3-2 in a 2020-21 I-League match on Monday to extend its lead over second-placed Real Kashmir to five points.

Luka Majcen's brace and Kingslee Fernandes' goal helped Santiago Valer's Churchill Brothers beat Gokulam Kerala 3-2 in Kolkata.   -  Twitter (@ILeague)

Churchill Brothers bagged the top spot in the final standings of the 2020-21 I-League first phase by defeating a ten-man Gokulam Kerala FC 3-2 in a final round match at the Kishore Bharati Stadium on Monday.

Luka Majcen found the target twice while Kingslee Fernandes scored once for Churchill Brothers. Gokulam Kerala made a late comeback with Philip Adjah and Jithin M. S. scoring once each but failed to pick up a point from the match.

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Gokulam Kerala was reduced to 10 men in the 30th minute of the game when Vincy Barretto was ejected with a direct red card.

Churchill Brothers remained the only unbeaten side in the tournament, with six wins and four draws, and finished on top with 22 points from 10 outings.

Roundglass Punjab FC, which beat NEROCA FC 1-0 in its final outing later in the evening, took the second spot with 18 points.

Real Kashmir FC claimed third place with 17 points, while there was a three-way tie for the next spot between Mohammedan Sporting, Gokulam Kerala and TRAU FC as they finished with 16 points each.

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With the tournament regulations putting head-to-head record as a tie-breaking method, Mohammedan Sporting took fourth, while Gokulam Kerala and TRAU FC gained the next two positions to complete the top-six in the standings.

The top six teams play in a round-robin format in the second phase to decide the champion, while the bottom five teams -- Aizawl FC, Sudeva Delhi FC, Chennai City FC, NEROCA FC and Indian Arrows -- will play among themselves in the relegation round.

THE RESULTS:

Gokulam Kerala FC 2 (Philip Adjah 80', Jithin M .S. 90+2') lost to Churchill Brothers FC (Luka Majcen 26', 87'-pen, Kingslee Fernandes 53') at Kishore Bharati Stadium.

NEROCA FC 0 lost to Roundglass Punjab FC 1 (Papa Diawara 65') at Kalyani Stadium.