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Gokulam Kerala beat Mohammedan to the 2021-22 I-League championship

16:46 GMT 14/05/2022
Gokulam Kerala 2021-22 I-League champions
The Malabarians have become the second team to successfully defend their league title...

Gokulam Kerala won their second I-League title in a row beating Mohammedan Sporting Club 2-1 in the final league game of the 2021-22 season at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, on Saturday.

The Southern outfit have now become the first team in the I-League history to defend their title and overall second after East Bengal who won the National Football League (NFL) in the 2002-03 and then again in the following season.

Following a goalless first half, Vincenzo Alberto Annese's side broke the deadlock through Rishad PP (49') before Azharuddin Mallick (57') equalised for Andrey Chernyshov's men. However, Emil Benny (61') ensured that the Malabarians bagged all three points.

A draw was going to be enough for Gokulam but they picked a win on the night and finished their campaign with 43 points from 18 games. Mohammedan finished second with 37 points.

Both goals for the two-time I-League champions were created by Luka Majcen, while Mohammedan's goal came off a free-kick earned by Azharuddin Mallick. Although Marcus Joseph took the set-piece, the goal was credited to Mallick who took a deflection as the ball nestled at the back of the net.

Gokulam Kerala now turn their focus to their 2022 AFC Cup campaign where they are set to take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their group opener on Wednesday, May 18.