I-League: Arrows edges out hapless Gokulam

It was the fourth defeat in the row for the Kerala club and has retained its second position from the bottom.

The only team below Gokulam, Goa’s Churchill Brothers, has played two fewer games. The two basement dwellers square off on January 15 at the same venue.   -  I-League

Gokulam Kerala FC kicked off its match against Indian Arrows with an unenviable record: it didn’t score a goal in its last 270 minutes. After Friday's game, the drought has extended to 360.

The host went down to the babies of the I-League, Indian Arrows, by a solitary goal at the Corporation Stadium on Friday.

It was the fourth defeat in the row for the Kerala club and has retained its second position from the bottom.

The only team below it, Goa’s Churchill Brothers, has played two fewer games. The two basement dwellers square off on January 15 at the same venue.

Arrows has moved one place up to eighth after posting its third win. This victory would have tasted particularly sweet for Luis Norton de Matos’s boys.

They were beaten 0-2 by Gokulam at New Delhi three weeks ago. It has been a wretched journey for the Kerala men since then.

They did try to put an end to their misery, by pressing forward and putting pressure against the younger rivals from early on in the match. They got an excellent chance in the 11th minute, following a fine free-kick by Francis Xavier, which found the recently-recruited Odafa Okolie.

The Nigerian’s header though was off the target. He may have been one of the most feared strikers in I-League once, but neither his form nor fitness would greatly cheer Gokulam’s supporters at the moment.

The home side continued its search for a goal, but was denied by the Arrows defenders, who invariably succeeded in the off-side trap.

After the break, the visitor looked keener to attack and in the 77th minute, its efforts bore fruit. Abhijit Sarkar, who would later be named the Player of the Match, put the ball firmly in from close in after receiving an excellent pass from K.P. Rahul.

The Kerala lad, who impressed with his speed and skills, had made an excellent run after being given a through ball from deep inside by Sanjeev Stalin.

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