I-League 2018-19: Struggling Gokulam Kerala takes on Shillong Lajong

The side is yet to garner its first win in the competition.

Gearing up: Gokulam Kerala FC practices on Saturday ahead of its I League contest at home.   -  K. Ragesh

Gokulam Kerala FC would be desperate to end the wait for its maiden victory on Sunday when it takes on Shillong Lajong at the Corporation Stadium here. The team is languishing in the ninth position in the points table, with two draws — against Mohun Bagan and Neroca FC — and a loss from three matches.

Lajong, on the other hand, garnered a win early in its campaign — against Aizawl FC in the North-Eastern derby. But the club, which doesn’t possess a single foreign player, has stumbled since, with back-to-back losses, and currently occupies the sixth position in the table. It will be keen to put behind the defeat against Indian Arrows in its last match.

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Gokulam is also coming off a defeat — against Chennai City FC.

Bino George’s boys have shown a lot of tenacity in all their three games so far and there is no reason why they should not be able to put Lajong under pressure. “We have to win at home,” the coach said. “We know Lajong is team that is made up of players who have been playing together for a long time.”

Key players to miss

One problem for him in the tournament had been the inability to field the same set of players in the defence, because of the Under-22 rule, Bino confessed. That won’t the only thing he has to worry about, though.

Two of his key men are not available on Sunday. Skipper Mudde Musa is suspended, while Arjun Jayaraj, who has been dangerous up front, is down with fever.

Bino’s counterpart Alison Kharsyntiew said his team would go all out for a win. “It is an important match for us, after losing two games in a row,” he said.

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