I-League: Gokulam Kerala, East Bengal share spoils after 1-1 draw

East Bengal's Victor Perez earned his side a point, while Gokulam Kerala, which took the lead through Marcus Joseph, finished the match with nine men.

Gokulam Kerala and East Bengal

Gokulam Kerala's Haroon Amiri sees red for showing dissent.   -  Twitter @ILeagueOfficial

They were reduced to ten for nearly half the match, had perhaps reasons to feel that some of the decisions went against them, but the Gokulam Kerala men were still able to salvage a point from East Bengal on a warm Tuesday night at the Corporation Stadium. The exciting I-League encounter ended in a 1-1 draw.

As is won't these days, Gokulam wasted no time to launch its relentless attack into the rival half. With Marcus Joseph and Henry Kisekka tirelessly sprinting into the East Bengal defence, a goal didn’t seem too far away.

And it came in the eighth minute. K.P. Rahul, the Under-22 player who is starting for the first time, deserves a lot of credit for that goal.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Eight minutes into the match, he made a splendid run down the left and duped the East Bengal defence before passing the ball to his captain. Joseph, from the edge of the box, decided against cutting in and drove it firmly into the far post, beating goalkeeper K. Mirshad.

Two minutes later, Mirshad came up with a fine save though to stop from Joseph scoring again. Kisekka could not take advantage of the deflection either, much to the relief of East Bengal.

Before long, the Kolkatan giant started to retaliate. In the 23rd minute, the tackle inside the box by Gokulam’s Huidrom Naocha Singh on Juan Mera Gonzalez was deemed bad enough for a penalty kick by the referee. The night would get even worse for Naocha Singh, in the second half.

From the spot, Victor Perez Alonso made no mistake to make it 1-1. There was more action on either side of the ground, but there was no change in the scoreline at half-time.

Gokulam had a setback shortly after the resumption of play. In the fourth minute of the second half, Naocha Singh was sent off; it was kind of an action replay, as he was penalised for the tackle against Gonzalez.

But that didn’t stop Gokulam from searching for the winning goal, which never came, though the team and their passionate fans thought it did. But the injury-time strike from Lalormawia was ruled off-side.

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