Mancheri: Gokulam Kerala FC made a stunning comeback in the I-League with their third consecutive home win at Payyanad Stadium. Malabarians went second in the points table with a lopsided 1-0 win over Rajasthan United FC in front of their home crowd on Monday night. Playing with a full field, Rajasthan lined up in the first half, but Gokulam came back strongly in the second half to capture the victory.
In the 51st minute, Vishwastharam V.S. Sreekuttan’s brilliant goal saw the hosts win their second consecutive I-League win. Gokulam, who were fourth in the league at the start of the game, fell behind Real Kashmir with four wins from seven games.
The weak half…
In the first half, Rajasthan United, who were devastated from the start of the game, fired several shots at the Gokulam post. Rajasthan constantly tested the Gokulam defense with a series of good moves. The hosts left the first half without even a single shot.
Rajasthan won five corners. In the 33rd minute, Rajasthan’s Malayali midfielder P.M. Bektur Ammagaldiyev sent a cross from Brito to Gokulam’s post, but the goalie saved it. Brito and William Pauling played hard for Rajasthan but did not see results.
In the 19th minute, Rajasthan star Martin Nicholas’ bullet shot flew over the Gokulam net. In the 23rd minute, Agustin Jr. Bausolang could not capitalize on the excellent cross provided by Shrukutan. In the latter half of the first half, many breakthroughs were made by Rajasthan.
A flying second half
In the second half, we saw the Kerala team that had more energy. Gokulam took the lead against Rajasthan early in the second half. In the 51st minute, Munnetra player V.S. Sreekutan made a one-on-one fight through the left wing and fired a shot that left three Rajasthan players and the goalkeeper as spectators and shook the Rajasthan net. The goal hit the bar over the post and went in for one of the best goals in the league.
Rajasthan tried to counter-attack but the Gokulam defense held out with great strength. In the 55th minute, Gokulam players Srikuttan and Shijin got open scoring opportunities but could not reach the target. In the 49th minute, a beautiful shot by the Rajasthan midfielder was deflected by the Gokulam goalie. Rajasthan’s ‘equal level’ was lost. Gokulam’s next game is against Neroka FC at the Payyanad Stadium on Thursday at 4.30 pm.