I-League 2019-20: Shibil Muhammed’s brace not enough to save Gokulam Kerala from narrow loss to Chennai City FC

Kozhikode: Defending champions Chennai City FC got the better of Gokulam Kerala 3-2 in an entertaining southern derby of the I-League in Kozhikode on Thursday.

Adolfo Miranda (45th minute), Pravitto Raju (55') and Sri Ram (77') scored for the winners, while Shibil Muhammed (81' and 90') found the net for the home team.

 I-League 2019-20: Shibil Muhammed’s brace not enough to save Gokulam Kerala from narrow loss to Chennai City FC

Chennai City FC celebrate after scoring against Gokulam Kerala. Image credit: Twitter/@ILeagueOfficial

The match saw three send-offs and five goals, much to the interest of the full-house crowd at the EMC Corporation Stadium, which found it rather hard to take their eyes off the game after a slow first half.

The first half started on a dull note as both the teams were failing to gain any momentum. Neither Chennai nor the home side Gokulam was picking up the pace as the build-up play was very slow from both the teams.

In the 24th minute, Gokulam got a free kick just outside the box and Marcus Joseph took the shot but straight at the keeper.

In the 33rd minute, another chance came for Gokulam when a ball from the right flank into the box was met by a weak header by Henry Kisekka and it was easily cleared by the Chennai keeper.

Chennai who were looking out of sorts for most of the half brought in a change as midfielder Raju came on for Tarif Akhand, a defender, in the 37th minute.

A change in the formation worked wonders for Chennai as a through ball from the left side of the mid-field went through three Gokulam defenders and Miranda was there to receive it.

In the 45th minute, he very swiftly put the ball past the Gokulam keeper and Chennai was ahead against the run of play with the Gokulam defenders left to appeal helplessly for an offside.

The goal pumped in renewed energy and Miranda was again in the thick of things, his through ball was met by Katsumi Yusa's run and a shot which was saved by the home team keeper.

With no further goals in the half, Chennai went into the half leading 1-0 against the Kerala outfit.

Play resumed and Gokulam were on the attack.

In the 51st minute, a chance came the way of Marcus Joseph from a lob over the defenders but poor control let him down and Santana made a good save to keep him out.

In the 55th minute, things went from bad to worse for Gokulam as a mistake in the mid-field set up a counter for Chennai.

Katsumi got the ball and passed it to Miranda whose shot was stopped the Gokulam keeper but the rebound fell to Raju. Raju made no mistake and with a left-footed shot put the visitors 2-0 up in the match.

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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2020 23:09:58 IST