Gokulam Kerala FC kept its perfect home record intact with a 1-0 win over Rajasthan United Football Club in the Hero I league match at the Payyanad stadium here on Monday.
The third win in as many matches at home took Gokulam FC.’s points tally to 14 and to the second spot in the table. After being outplayed in the first half, Gokulam shrugged off its passiveness in the second half and scored off its first incisive move. But the match winner came against the run of play as Gokulam broke away with a swift counterattack in the 51st minute.
V.S. Sreekuttan entered the box and hoodwinked his challenger Melroy Melwin and crashed a shot into the top of the net. The goal set the template for the rest of the match for Gokulam which waited for chances to counterattack as Rajasthan searched for the elusive equaliser. Gokulam defence was better organised in the second half to ward off the threat from Rajasthan.
The visitor must be ruing the chances it missed in the first half when it was clearly the better side. Showing better adaptability on a soggy pitch, Rajasthan chalked out promising moves that forced the host to be defensive. Early in the first half, Bektur Amangeldiev forced a good save from Gokulam goalkeeper Shibinraj who punched out the stinging shot for a corner.
Uruguayan Martin Chaves proved to be a constant nuisance to the Gokulam defence on the right flank and he fizzed a shot over the goal from close in the 20th minute. However, Gokulam ended the first half strongly as its Cameroon striker Boum Somilaga with a reverse kick induced a good save from Rajasthan goalkeeper A.S.Vishal.
Gokulam Kerala FC 1 (V.S.Sreekuttan 51) bt Rajasthan United FC 0.