I-League: Gokulam Kerala FC beat Minerva Punjab to go 2nd on points table

first_imgGokulam Kerala FC edged out defending champions Minerva Punjab FC 1-0, courtesy a goal from Rajesh S, in I-League in Kozhikode on Sunday.This was Gokulam’s second win of the campaign but took them to the second spot in the points table.With eight points from five games, Gokulam are now second, five points behind table toppers Chennai City FC and two ahead of East Bengal on third.On the other hand, Minerva dropped to the eighth spot in the table with only four points from four matches.The Indian Super League is currently on an international break as India played Jordan in Amman in a friendly as part of the preparations for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. However, I-League continued its action and did not go for a break according to the FIFA calendar.It was Minerva who had the first shot at goal with Bala Dahir in the third minute but the hosts soon responded with a couple of quick attacks. However, considering a package, it was a half which lacked creativity in the attacking third.The best chance of the first half came to Minerva’s Nigerian winger Donatus Edafe in the 44th minute when a wonderful cross from Souvik Das from the right flank found him with a free-header but he missed the mark.Apart from that and the two yellow cards that Akashdeep and Philip Njoku picked up for the visitors, there was hardly anything of note as the half ended goalless.There was also a 21-minute break in between of the match because of a malfunctioning floodlight, which ended up neutralising the humidity of Kozhikode.advertisementThe second half was as insipid as the first and it was the visitors who looked more intent at finding a goal and were dominating the attacking play.Quietly against the run of play, it was the home side who took the lead in the 60th minute through Rajesh.Suhair who started the move playing on Gani Nigam inside the box on the right. The youngster surged ahead and floated in a cross which beat Bhaskar Roy in the Minerva goal on the near post and Rajesh was there to meet it with a compact header.The goal brought some life into the game and both the coaches also started making their moves.Gani was taken off two minutes later and Pritam Singh was brought in by Bino George for Gokulam.Paul Munster also did not lose any time to get in Ivorian forward Alexander Kouassi in place of Nigerian defensive midfielder Dahir and later in the 83rd minute, Sabeeth in place of defender Souvik Das.Minerva did try desperately for an equaliser towards the end but to no avail.Kouassi’s powerful shot in the 86th minute was kept out of danger by Shibinraj in the Gokulam goal and Arashpreet’s effort from a William Opoku corner also missed the target.Gokulam also had some gilt-edged opportunities to increase their lead but Antonio German and Abhishek Das were guilty of misses.(With PTI inputs)Also watch –last_img read more