Kozhikode: East Bengal's title aspirations went up in smoke as newcomers Gokulam Kerala FC came from behind to record a stunning 2-1 win in the I-League in Kozhikode on Saturday.
Yusa Katsumi (45+4 minutes) opened the scoring from the penalty spot for the away side but Kivi Zhimomi (51st) restored parity.
An own goal by substitute Salam Ranjan Singh (87th) ensured East Bengal went back with a heavy heart.
Both captains, Arnab Mondal of East Bengal and Mohammed Irshad of Gokulam, were sent off in the second half added time.
Mondal picked up a second yellow for his lunge on Henry Kisseka while Irshad was given the marching orders for putting his arm on the face of East Bengal's Lalramchullova at the EMS Corporation Stadium.
East Bengal remained third in the table with 26 points from 15 fixtures, three points adrift of second-placed Minerva Punjab FC (29 points from 14 games) and five of league leaders Neroca FC who have 31 from 16 matches.
Gokulam moved to the eighth spot with 16 points from 14 games.
East Bengal next take on Chennai City FC at home on 24 February while Gokulam will travel to Punjab to play Minerva on Tuesday.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Feb 17, 2018 19:12:02 IST