I-League: Gokulam Kerala shares spoils with Indian Arrows

Marcus Joseph, who struck his fourth goal in as many games since his arrival in January, helped Gokulam avoid another defeat against the young Arrows side.

Marcus Joseph celebrates scoring Gokulam's equaliser against Indian Arrows.   -  K. Ragesh

Gokulam Kerala FC’s winless run got extended to three months after Indian Arrows held the host to a 1-1 draw in a bottom of the table I-League fixture on Saturday.

Rahul KP gave Arrows the lead in the first half but Trinidadian striker Marcus Leric Joseph’s fourth goal in as many games in the second, ensured there was not a repeat of the first leg fixture between the two sides, where the Arrows won by a solitary goal.

With this result, Gokulam stays put at 10th position with 13 points after 16 completed games. The Arrows also maintained its seventh position on the points table, now having 17 points from 18 games.

After an initial spell of pressure by the Malabarians, the Indian Arrows slowly started to find its bearings with Rahul finding the back of the net in the 22nd minute.

Ashish Rai delivered the cross from the right flank for Rahim Ali, who was positioned inside the box, wide on the left.

Rahim brought down a cushioned header towards Rahul, who was sprinting from the centre of the box.

Rahul had to check his run with his back facing the goal. The young midfielder swiveled and volleyed on the turn to beat keeper Arnab Das Sharma all ends up.

Arrows took the one-goal lead into the break.

Gokulam got the equaliser in the 64th minute through the top scorer Joseph, who struck his fourth goal in as many games since being drafted in during the January transfer window.

Substitute Arjun Jayaraj had made the initial foray with a run down the left of the box and his ball intended for Marcus was cut-off by the Arrows defence initially.

But it came back off an Arrows defender and fell for Marcus, who pounced on the opportunity and drilled the ball home with a left-footed strike.

The Arrows had a golden chance to get back into the lead in the 70th minute but Fabian effected a goalline save to deny the host.

Then in the dying minutes, Marcus, had another opportunity to seal the deal for the home side but failed to convert.

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