Gokulam Kerala picked up their second win of the ongoing I-League season with a 4-1 result against NEROCA at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Monday.
A Jiteshwor Singh own goal and goals by Philip Adjah, Jestin Geroge and Mohammad Sharif handed the victory to the Malabarians. Songpu Singsit's goal at the fag end of the game was only a consolation for NEROCA.
The Malabarians got off to a strong start and scored thrice in the first half. In the 23rd minute, a good cross from the left flank put the defence in trouble and Jiteshwor Singh, in an attempt to the clear the ball, ended up headed it into his own net.
Dennis Antwi's pass found Philip Adjah inside the box and the Ghanaian smashed the ball into the back of the net from close range to double Gokulam’s lead soon after the half-hour mark.
Jestin George chested a Deepak Devrani free-kick into the net to make it 3-0 before the break for Gokulam who played like they had a point to prove after the defeat to Aizawl in their previous game.
With Gokulam Kerala dominating possession and creating chances at will, it was all the Malabarians in the first half. Neroca had a slight sniff of the goal seconds before half-time but failed to find the target. The half-time scoreline read 3-0 in Gokulam’s favour.
The Malabarians were a cautious bunch in what was a quiet second half as NEROCA struggled to break down their opponents.
There was drama when the Kozhikode-based club was awarded a penalty in the 86th minute for foul on Antwi. Mohammad Sharif, Antwi and Adjah had a row about who should take the spot-kick and in the end, Sharif converted from the spot. Neroca reduced their deficit with a brilliant strike by Songpu Singsit in the 88th minute but it was too late for NEROCA.
Churchill Brothers win, remain unbeaten
League leaders Churchill Brothers extended their lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win against Sudeva Delhi at the Mohun Bagan Stadium in Kolkata.
Fernando Varela’s men dominated the game and first-half strikes by Luka Majcen and Bryce Miranda were enough for the Goan side to pick up their third win of the season and remain unbeaten after four rounds of games.
Churchill Brothers took the lead in the 19th minute when Zuniga used his physical prowess to hold on to the ball and find Luka Majcen in space. The forward smashed home to break the deadlock.
Minutes later, Majcen ran clear towards goal and found Bryce Miranda, who stroked the ball into the net to double his team's lead.
Sudeva's efforts to get back into the game proved to be unsuccessful and Churchill Brothers ended up going four points clear at the top of the table.