I-League: Gokulam loses 5-goal thriller to Churchill

The clash between the two bottom-placed I-League teams proved an entertaining match, in which the lead changed hands right through. It was Gokulam Kerala’s fifth loss in a row in the I-League as Churchill posted its first win.

Just when the match was heading for a draw, Churchill was awarded a penalty and Mechac Koffi made no mistake from the spot, much to the disappointment of Gokulam and its supporters.   -  S. Ramesk Kurup

The men from Gokulam FC Kerala came up with a spirited display and even ended their goal-draught, but their dismal run continues. The side was beaten 2-3 by Churchill Brothers at the Corporation Stadium on Monday night.

It was its fifth loss in a row in the I-League. For the Goans, it was their first win.

The clash between the two bottom-placed teams proved an entertaining match, in which the lead changed hands right through.

Nigerian Kalu Ogba drew first blood for Churchill in the 16th minute, following a long throw-in into the box by Jovel Martins. The host’s Daniel Addo first and then K. Salman could not get the ball out of danger with their headers.

Then, Arjun Jayaraj tried to clear it with an overhead kick, but he too failed. Ogba came charging in and volleyed it in powerfully from a few yards outside the penalty circle. The ball flew past the Kerala goalkeeper Bilal Khan into the right top corner of the net, silencing the small but vociferous crowd.

Stung by the goal, the Gokulam men tried to hit back, but were denied by the Goan defence. They, however, equalised 15 minutes into the second half, following a corner kick, as Addo came up with a perfect header to make good use of an excellent cross from Santu Singh.

Eleven minutes later, the home side went ahead, following a free-kick by Al-Ajmi. Off a deflection, Emmanuel Chigozie slammed the ball home.

Gokulam’s joy of going in front was short lived though, as Kalu scored his second goal of the night, off a free-kick taken by substitute Israil Gurung.

Just when the match was heading for a draw, the visiting side was awarded a penalty, for Provat Lakra’s charge against P.M. Britto. Mechac Koffi made no mistake from the spot, much to the disappointment of Gokulam and its supporters.