Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of the I-League clash between Gokulam Kerala FC and Mohammedan Sporting Club being played at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India.
This was Neeladri Bhattacharjee bringing you the minute-by-minute updates of the decider for the 2021-22 I-League Champion. That was all for the night in the I-League this season. Thanks for tuning in and take very good care of yourselves.
Gokulam Kerala FC 2-1 Mohammedan SC
Goals from Emil Benny and Rishad were enough to guide Gokulam Kerala to its second I-League title in a row as it becomes the first club to defend the I-League title in 15 years.
90+4' Booking! Yellow Card for Ralte for time-wasting during taking the corner kick!
90+3' Shot! Sreekuttan gets the ball along the left flank, cuts to his right and shoots as the ball is just wide, off-target
90+3' Stojanovic delives a long bal into the GKFC box, but the visitor gets the ball back into attack as Benny gets the ball in front and Majcen gets the ball
90+1' We are into stoppage time and just five more minutes for the Malabarians to have their hands on the I-League trophy
89' Miss! Marcus gets a cross from the right flank, but he fails to meet the cross with a clinical shot on target as Mohammedan fails to capitalise on yet another chance
89' Substitution for MDSP! In: Sujit Sadhu, Out: Manoj Mohammad
88' Substitution for GKFC! In: Waseem Razeek, Out: Thahir Zaman
87' Marcus Joseph gets the ball into the box after a pass off Stojanovic, but Saji comes to GKFC's rescue with a clearance
85' Miss! Azharuddin misses a key chance to equalise as GKFC maintains its lead in the last few miuntes of the match
84' Another free kick by Stojanovic and this time Bouba heads it out of danger.
83' Free Kick! Stojanovic takes the free kick, which GKFC conceded after a foul on Buam, but the kick is too long ans GKFC gets the goal kick
82' Yellow Card! GKFC's head coach, Vicenze goes into the book as tensions rise in this final day match of the I-League
81' Bouba resumes play, but Luka Majcen goes down with an injury and the crowd looks intimidated as it thinks these are attempts to waste time as GKFC eyes its second I-League title in a row
79' Chance! Mohammedan goes on the attack with Buam and Azhar pairing up. The latter tries to get the final touch right in front of the goalkeeper and ends up hurting Dagar
78' Adinga flies in a free kick for Gokulam Kerala, but Zothan catches the ball to end that attack
77' Chance! As the match resumes, a free kick, after a delflection off a GKFC player flies over the net. But it seems there was a foul by Shaheen as GKFC gets a free kick in the follow-up
74' Time for a second cooling break!
73' Ralte makes a run along the left flank, but Zothan gets to the ball first and throws the ball back. Marcus receives the ball after a long pass, but his pass in the final third is seen out of danger by Saji as Dagar catches the ball
71' Yellow Card! Jasim concedes a yellow card for a rash cahllenge and the resulting free kick is taken by Rudovic. However, the cross is just too long as the ball goes out for a goal kick
70' Shot! Buam gets the ball in front of the penalty box and shoots from distance. Though the shot is on target, no force on that shot whatsoever
69' Stojanovic tries to receive the ball in the GKFC box, but is closed down by two Kerala defenders. The Mohammedan player goes down appealing for a penalty, but the referee is not interested
67' Substitution for Mohammedan SC! In: Phrangki Buam, Out: Asheer Akhtar
67' Mohammedan continues to push men forward and Marcus gets the ball at the edge of the box and goes for goal from distance as the ball flies off-target
62' Substitution for GKFC! In: Jasim, Out: Abdul Hakku
61' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!! Emil Benny makes a run into the final third and shoots from distance on target. Zothan is caught napping as GKFC goes in front in this match for the second time tonight
GKFC 2-1 MDSP
56' GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLL!!!! Marcus Joseph's free kick deflects off Azhar and gets into the net. Equaliser for Mohammedan SC!
GKFC 1-1 MDSP
55' Substitution for Mohammedan SC! In: Azharuddin Mallick, Faisal Ali, Out: MD Faiaz, Brandon V
53' Mohammedan tries to get the ball into the GKFC half, but the brown shirts have crowded the MDSP half. It cannot let the lead slip and worse, it should not lose from here
49' GOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Rishad scores for Kerala and gives GKFC the lead as the defending champion maintains its lead on top of the league table
GKFC 1-0 MDSP
48' Off target! Srekuttan gets the ball in front of the penalty box, and tries a lofted shot, but the ball flies over the net
47' Chance! Mohammedan tries to stretch the opposition with a back pass, but Emil Benny rushes to it, but Zothan gets to it first to put that attempt to bed for GKFC
Second Half begins!
Gokulam Kerala 0-0 Mohammedan SC
45' Injury! Ronaldo Fletcher looks seriously injured as he is carried off the field on a stretcher. Sreekuttan replaces Fletcher.
44' Faiaz carries the ball close to the GKFC box along the left flank, but fails to beat the final line of defence and Stojanovic gets the ball back to rebuild the attack
41' Miss! Bouba clears the ball for a corner and the corner kick that follows is cleared by GKFC and Fletcher makes a run along the left flank and shoots rom distance. However, he misses an open goal. What a miss this!
40' Shot! Luka Majcen gets the ball from Uvais along the left flank. He lands the ball down and shoots on the volley. But it is off-target
40' Mohammedan resumes play with Stojanovic and Marcus controlling the midfield play as GKFC forces the side in white to stay in its own half
38' Injury Scare! GKFC's right-back Abdul Hakku looks to be in some pain after taking a knock and is being attended by the team's medics as he walks off the field
36' Mohamemdan tries to get the ball in action with a quick throw-in, but Brandon is marked well in the GKFC half as Gokulam gets back possession of the ball
35' The I-League match has been under broadcasting problems tonight, with interruptions on multiple occasions. What happens tonight on the final day of Hero I-League? Stay tuned right here to find out.
34' Zothamawia kicks the ball long for Marcus and he fails to control the ball and gives a goal kick to the opposition
33' Hakku gets the ball into play with a throw-in as GKFC tries to create an attack with Luka Macjen leading the attack
31' The match resumes after the cooling break and if the score remains this till fuill-time, GKFC will defend its title. An hour more of intensive action, an hour of competitive Indian football
30' Shot! Marcus Joseph carries the ball in the GKFC box and launches a shot, which is off target and the referee blows his whistle for a cooling break
29' Throw-in for GKFC, but the ball headed out by Mohammedan. The home team has been is a similar position not so long ago, in the Durand Cup final
28' Chance! Rahaman crosses from the right and Marcus jumps to meet it, but falls appealing a penalty. The referee is not interested
28' Zothanmawia gets the ball rolling with a pass from the back, but the home team has struggled to finish in front of goal
26' Shaher Shaheen gets the ball to build an attack for the home team, but GKFC steals possession and Emil tries to make a run into the final third, but Majcen stops him in his tracks
24' MDSP tries to build an attack along the wings with Rahaman trying to create an attack again along the right flank, but his sprint is too much for a cross as he runs into an advertisement board
23' Mohammedan has five men with three in front of two men at the back as it tries to mark the attacks of Gokulam Kerala
22' Mohammedan gets the ball along the right flank, but the cross for Marcus is just too long as the ball goes out for a throw-in
19' GKFC continues to press high up the pitch, but Stojanovic carries the ball into the mifidfield, after which his pass for Rudovic is intercepted for a foul by Hakku
7' Ralte takes the corner kick which is fisted away by Zothanmawia
7' Chance for GKFC again! Saji makes a run along the right flank and cuts into his left and crosses, but Vaz clears it out for a corner
6' Chance! GKFC attacks on the counter with Emil passinhg to Majcen, and the Slovenian goes for a shot from distance, but misses the target
5' Foul and free kick on favour of Mohammedan! Stojanovic and Rudovic gets together with the latter taking the shot, but the final shot by Marcus has no force at all!
3' Marcus chases the ball and is Rakshit somehow gets the ball away from the Mohammedan striker and the crowd continues to cheer the home team
2' Foul! An early foul for GKFC to capitalise on as Zodingliana steps up to take the free kick. The free kick headed away and the ball is kicked for Marcus
7:00 pm: Kick Off!
6:50 pm: Who do you think will win the I-League this season?
6:45 pm: What happened when the two sides met in the I-League?
Gokulam Kerala and Mohammedan SC shared a point each with Luka Majcen converting a late penalty to save a point for the Malabarians.
6:30 pm: What are the coaches saying?
6:00 pm: Starting Lineups out!
Gokulam Kerala Starting XI: Dagar (GK), Alex, Thahir, Rishad, Benny, Zodingliana, Aminou (C), Md Uvais, Hakku, Fletcher, Majcen
Mohammedan SC Starting XI: Zothanmawia(GK), Rahaman, Vaz, Akhtar, Shaher, Manoj, Faiaz, Stojanovic(C), Rudovic, Brandon, Joseph
5:55 pm: Players arrive at the Salt Lake Stadium. The squads of both the teams have arrived at the venue ahead of the final. Just over an hour to go for kick-off!
5:45 pm: Form Guide: Gokulam Kerala was on an unbeaten run of 21 games, before losing to Sreenidi Deccan in its previous match, while Mohammedan SC is on a seven-match unbeaten run, winning its previous match 0-2 against Rajasthan United.
Last five matches of Gokulam Kerala FC:
- Loss: Gokulam Kerala FC 1-3 Sreenidi Deccan
- Win: Rajasthan United 0-1 Gokulam Kerala FC
- Win: Gokulam Kerala FC 4-0 Neroca FC
- Draw: Churchill Brothers 1-1 Gokulam Kerala FC
- Win: Gokulam Kerala FC 2-0 Punjab FC
Last five matches of Mohammedan SC:
- Win: Rajasthan United 0-2 Mohammedan SC
- Win: Mohammedan SC 2-0 Churchill Brothers
- Win: Mohammedan SC 2-0 Neroca FC
- Draw: Mohammedan SC 2-2 Punjab FC
- Draw: Sreenidi Deccan 2-2 Mohammedan SC
5:15 pm: A number of legends have reached the stadium to witness a contest that will confirm the new I-League Champion.
Defending champion Gokulam Kerala seems to have come under a mountain of pressure just at a time when it looked assured of becoming the first team in the history of the I-League to win back-to-back crowns.
The 3-1 loss against Sreenidi Deccan in the penultimate round seems to be discounting the creditable record of the Kozhikode-based club that had prided itself on remaining unbeaten in the previous 21 matches just before it.
The lone setback in an eternally long reign of success seems to be bothering Gokulam Kerala, which now appears to be on the defensive against a rejuvenated local aspirant in Mohammedan Sporting.
The Kolkata club is suddenly seeing the possibility of winning its maiden I-League crown. This is because the I-League regulations take into account the head-to-head score in case of a tie on points.
Mohammedan Sporting, which is placed second with 37 points, will be benefiting from this provision if it is able to beat GKFC (on 40 points) on Saturday and draws level on points. The two teams had played out a 1-1 draw in the first phase and Mohammedan hopes to count on the partisan support to get the result in its favour in the decisive tie.
Seeing the concluding league match turning into a virtual knock-out final, the organisers arranged the match at the giant Slate Lake Stadium, which can accommodate around 70,000 spectators.
Statistically, Gokulam Kerala is still the favorite as it needs just a point to retain the crown but for that it needs to overcome the challenge of a rejuvenated local side that has suddenly discovered the possibility of bringing the trophy home.
Gokulam Kerala’s Italian head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese, who will be missing the services of two key players in the Afghanistan midfielder Sharif Mukhammad and forward Jithin M.S. owing to suspension, hoped his players would show the right spirit to secure the requisite points for the title.
“We will be playing in front of almost 40,000 supporters, for that we need the fighting spirit in the proper measure,” Annese said on the eve of the match.
Mohammedan Sporting’s Russian coach Andrey Chernyshov said, “This is football. Anybody can win or lose in a minute. Now we have the chance to win the title and our fans are excited about it. It is good for Indian football. Two good teams will fight for the title."
Where can you watch the match?
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