Gokulam Kerala FC breaks jinx to earn first-ever point against Neroca FC

The Kerala-based side had been at the receiving ends twice in the last edition, but it stole a vital point against the Manipuri outfit at the Khuman Lampak Stadium.

Gokulam Kerala (above) came to the pitch at the back of a loss against East Bengal. (File Photo)   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

Gokulam Kerala FC broke a jinx by winning its first-ever point against Neroca FC since debut in the Hero I-League, here, on Wednesday.

The Kerala-based side had been at the receiving ends twice in the last edition, but it stole a vital point against the Manipuri outfit at the Khuman Lampak Stadium.

Local player Baoringdao Bodo opened the scoring for the visitor at the stroke of the halftime, but Eduardo Ferriera (59’) struck in a perfect equaliser to open its tally in the 12th edition.

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Newly-appointed Neroca FC boss Manuel Fraile induced two changes from the last match as Varney Kallon, who was injured, made a comeback in his usual position as well as Ronald made his first start of the season.

On the other side of the pitch, Bino George made as many as four changes in the starting lineup too. He brought in Rashid K., Pritam Singh, Monotosh and Rajesh S., who had a spectacular game against Mohun Bagan last day.

The host came to the pitch at the back of a loss against East Bengal, whereas the visitor travelled all the way to Imphal having gathered much-needed gusto against the Mariners.

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In the 13th minute, Subash Singh rushed into the box with a clear intention to find the back of the net, but the Ortiz came to his team’s rescue. Five minutes later, the Neroca FC attacker got another opportunity to open the goalmouth, but following a melee in the box, the chance got wasted for it.

At the stroke of the half-hour mark, Malem Meitei put in a long ball for Aryn Williams, who wasted what might have been the best opportunity for the hosts in the first half.

The long ball by Meitei landed perfectly on the head of the Aussie, but he failed to connect it on time which resulted in nothing more than a goal kick for the visitor.

Bino George, in the 35th minute, introduced Bodo, and the move proved to be a masterstroke by Gokulam Kerala FC manager. The Manipuri player ripped the Neroca FC defence apart within 10 minutes of coming on the pitch to shut the noisy crowd.

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