I-League: Marcus Daniel keeps Gokulam stay afloat

Marcus Daniel's 82nd minute winner steered Gokulam Kerala FC to a 2-1 win over NEROCA in the I-League on Sunday.

Sunday's victory takes Gokulam Kerala to the ninth spot in the I-League table with17 points from 19 games.   -  I-League

The Golden boot of Trinidadian Marcus Joseph delivered an important win for the relegation threatened Gokulam Kerala FC in the I-League tie against NEROCA FC at the EMS Corporation stadium here on Sunday.

Marcus, who had found the net in five consecutive matches, scored his sixth and probably the most important goal for his side as his 82nd minute strike powered Gokulam FC to a 2-1 win.

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The victory, Gokulam's first in over three months, took the club's tally to 17 points from 19 matches and ninth place in the standings, while NEROCA stays in the fifth spot with 26 points.

Gokulam struggled to impose itself on its opponent in the first half and fell behind in the 23rd minute when Nigerian Felix Chidi found the target. However, Gokulam restored parity at the beginning of the second half when Ghanian Daniel Addo scored in the 46th minute.

The host was a transformed side after the equaliser and played with more assurance in the midfield and created pressure at the rival goal.

 

The sustained effort finally bore fruit when Marcus scored in the 81st minute off a cross from the overlapping Addo.

Gokulam coach Gift Raikhan praised the effort of his captain Addo, whose opening goal turned things around for his side.

"Addo can play in any position. I must appreciate him for the way he played today. The first goal was the stepping stone to move further. We have one more match to go and we hope to do well," he said.

However, Gokulam has still not averted the danger of relegation and plays East Bengal in its final league encounter on March 9 at home. The game will be a must-win for East Bengal if it is to have a shot at the title.

East Bengal can win the I-League title if it gets past Gokulam and Chennai City FC loses to Minerva Punjab, with both matches being played simultaneously at 2pm.  

The result

Gokulam Kerala FC 2 ( Daniel Addo 46, Marcus Joseph 81) bt NEROCA FC 1 (Felix Chidi 23).

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