Match Results: MohunBagan – 2 (ShiltonD’Silva 18’, DipandaDicka 60’) VS Gokulam Kerala FC – 2 [Lalchhawnkima21’(OG), Marcus Joseph 24’]
Kolkata, January 30, 2019: Marcus Joseph almost helped Gokulam Kerala FC secure a much-needed away win but Dipanka Dicka’s 60 th minute strike levelled a well-fought, thrilling encounter between GKFC and Mohun Bagan at YBK Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesdsay.
Though it was the home side that drew first blood through Shilton D’Silva in the 18 th minute, Gokulam Kerala FC soon equalled through an own goal by Lalchhawnkima’s 21 st minute own goal.
Gokulam Kerala FC fired in a second through Marcus Joseph in the 24th minute to take a lead of 2-1. MohunBagan finally rescued them from a loss in the 60th minute when DipandaDicka scored the equaliser from a Henry Kisseka pass. Gokulam’s goalkeeper Arnab Das Sarma was adjudged the Hero of the Match.
Gokulam Kerala FC made four changes to the squad today with their latest recruit Fabien Vorbe, Mohamed Irshad, Bijesh T.B. and Suhair VP finding their way back into the playing eleven.
The away side started on an attacking note, with their first attempt to score coming within the first minute from Marcus Joseph’s long ranger, which shot over an out-of-position Mohun Bagan goalkeeper.
Gokulam again hit back within a minute when Imran Khan struck again but missed the target. However, within the first 10 minutes of the game, the hosts had four to five opportunities to score but couldn’t, thanks to Gokulam’s careful and alert defenders and some good goalkeeping by their custodian Arnab Das.
Mohun Bagan, after those two early scares, increased the pressure on Gokulam, attacking in short bursts and trying to draw first blood but were unable to break the defensive deadlock. Their efforts finally paid off when ShiltonD’Silva headed in a beautiful corner kick from Sony Norde in the 18th minute to give the home side a hard-earned lead in the game.
However, the celebrations did not last for long as just three minutes later, some poor communication between their goalkeeper Shilton Paul and defender Kim Kima led to an own goal from the latter, gifting Gokulam Kerala FC the equaliser.
After this, the Malabarians upped the tempo through the flanks – causing trouble for the Bagan defence. They soon earned their lead, capitalising on MohunBagan’s defensive lapses in the 24th minute when Marcus Joseph made no mistake beating defender Kingsley to fire into the net over an again out-of-position Shilton Paul – taking the score to 1-2 in favour of the visitors.
MohunBagan, who were rattled by their own errors, were found trailing by a goal and started attacking again but were unsuccessful in breaching through the rock-solid Gokulam defence. Their closest chance to an equaliser came in the final seconds of the regulation time of the first half when Kisseka missed a golden opportunity to score from the front of the Gokulam goal. The first half came to an end with the scoreline reading 1-2 in Gokulam Kerala’s favour.
The second period began with MohunBagan beginning the attacks and looking for an equaliser but as in the first, both their midfield and forward lines seemed a little off-colour and lacked the impetus to create goal scoring opportunities. Gokulam Kerala FC’s defence line, along with their goalkeeper Arnab Das, ensured that none of the attempts from the home team proved threatening enough.
Their consistent attempts soon paid off when an inch-perfect lofted pass from Kisseka was beautifully directed into the goal by Dipanda Dicka in the 60th minute to finally secure the equaliser for Mohun Bagan.
The game thereafter changed pace as MohunBagan sprung back to action looking for that much-needed lead in the game but full marks to Gokulam Kerala FC, as they ensured they didn’t give in to the charged momentum from the home side. Mohun Bagan came close a few times to score for the third time but a lack of direction and some heavy touches eluded them of that decisive goal for a win. – I-League