A goal had been as hard to come by for Gokulam Kerala as a win on the current Bangladesh tour for the Indian cricket team. That explained the broad smile on the owner V.C. Praveen’s face at the dugout when the defending champion scored in the 53rd minute against Sudeva Delhi on Wednesday night.
Gokulam had scored just three goals in its five matches and defeated Sudeva Delhi 3-0 at the Malappuram District Sports Complex Stadium.
It was a badly needed victory for the host – the first since the second match. For the Delhi side, the defeat was its fifth in as many games, but this one wasn’t anywhere as one-sided as the scoreline might indicate.
After a barren opening half, Sudeva had even threatened to score early on in the second. But Gokulam drew first blood with Dodi Ndo driving in an excellent throw-in from Subhankar Adhikari.
A couple of minutes later, Sudeva could have equalised but Shubho Paul squandered the excellent pass into the box from Francis Nwankwo. Then T. Shijin’s twin strike – off a cross from P.N. Noufal and then from a pass by V.S. Sreekuttan – ensured there was no end for the Delhi side’s wait for a point in the league.
Gokulam has moved into third place with 11 points.
The result: Gokulam Kerala 3 (Dodi Ndo 53, T. Shijjin 62 & 70) bt Sudeva Delhi 0.