Sreekuttan keeps Gokulam’s clean home record intact

Sreekuttan scoring the match-winner for Gokulam against Rajasthan United.

Sreekuttan scoring the match-winner for Gokulam against Rajasthan United.
| Photo Credit: Sakeer Hussain

Gokulam Kerala FC kept its perfect home record intact with a 1-0 win over Rajasthan United FC in a Hero I league match at the Payyanad Stadium on Monday. The third win at home took Gokulam FC.’s points tally to 14 and to the second spot in the table.

After being outplayed in the first half, Gokulam shrugged off its passiveness in the second and scored off its first incisive move.

But the match-winner came against the run of play as Gokulam broke away with a swift counter-attack in the 51st minute. V.S. Sreekuttan entered the box, hoodwinked his challenger Melroy Melwin and crashed a shot into the top of the net.

The goal set the template for rest of the match for Gokulam, which waited for chances to counter-attack as Rajasthan searched for the elusive equaliser. The Gokulam defence was better organised in the second half to ward off the threat from Rajasthan.

The visitor must be ruing the chances it missed in the first half when it was clearly the better side. Showing better adaptability on a soggy pitch, Rajasthan chalked out promising moves that forced the host to be defensive.

Early in the first half, Bektur Amangeldiev forced a good save from Gokulam goalkeeper Shibinraj, who punched out the stinging shot for a corner. Uruguayan Martin Chaves, who proved to be a constant nuisance to the Gokulam defence on the right flank, fizzed a shot over the goal from close in the 20th minute.

However, Gokulam ended the first-half strongly with its Cameroon striker Boum Somilaga’s reverse kick inducing a good save from Rajasthan ‘keeper A.S. Vishal.

The result: Gokulam Kerala FC 1 (V.S. Sreekuttan 51) bt Rajasthan United FC 0.

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