I-league: Minerva Punjab salvages late draw against Gokulam Kerala

Defending champion Minerva Punjab avoided a sixth defeat of the season when Caicedo equalizded in the final minute of injury time.

Minerva Punjab secured a late draw against Gokulam Kerala.   -  Special Arrangement

A 10-man Minerva Punjab FC scored in injury-time to snatch a 1-1 draw against Gokulam Kerala FC in the I-League at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula on Saturday.

Gokulam Kerala drew the first blood in the 82nd minute through debutant Marcus Joseph but Musa Caicedo equalized for defending champion Minerva in the final minute of the additional time (90+4 minute).

The visiting side hit the ground running and and in just the second minute Pritam Singh found the back of the net off an Abhishek Das cross, but the referee disallowed the goal. 

Minerva, which is now out of reckoning for the title, suffered a jolt in the 20th minute when forward Zacharie was red carded for an unnecessary foul against Gokulam keeper Arnab Das inside the box. Gokulam attacked relentlessly but Minerva denied it any clear chance in the first half.

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A major part of the second half was a midfield tussle with the home side mostly defending and Gokulam attacking in short bursts but still unable to create concrete chances. Gokulam’s efforts were finally rewarded in the 82nd minute when debutant Marcus Joseph from Trinidad and Tobago found the back of the net.

Minerva avoided a sixth defeat of the season when Caicedo equalizded in the final minute of injury time. Souvik Das sent a pass to Moinuddin inside the Gokulam box and he headed the ball to Caicedo who did not make any istake in tucking the ball in the back of the net.

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