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Football

I-League 2021-22: Gokulam Kerala strives to retain title with a win against Churchill Brothers

Defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC began their I-League 2021-22 campaign with a 1-0 win against Churchill Brothers at Kalyani Stadium.

I-League 2021-22: Gokulam Kerala strives to retain title with a win against Churchill Brothers
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By

Triyasha Chatterjee

Published: 26 Dec 2021 2:01 PM GMT

Defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC began their I-League 2021-22 campaign with a 1-0 win against Churchill Brothers at Kalyani Stadium. Skipper Sharif Mukhammad was featured in the score sheet for the Malabarians.

The teams made a shaky start with a midfield battle to watch. The Malabarians took an early lead in the 17th minute when Sharif converted an awarded spot-kick.

Going a goal down, Churchill got their backs straight forcing Rakshit Dagar to make a brilliant save from a Sylla shot. The Malabarians could have gone up by another when Thahir Zaman's screaming shot hit the woodwork right before halftime.

Coming into the second half Churchill Brothers pressed the game with renewed enthusiasm. However, the GKFC defense stood out against the press. Although Gokulam dominated the possession, Churchill had total control over the other aspects of the game.

Image via GKFC Media

Missed chances from Zaman and Aminou on the other kept GKFC from extending the lead. CB themselves had a lot of chances through Sylla but the lack of finishing kept them from getting on the scoreboard.

The rock-solid defense of GKFC added to their woes. As the highly contesting encounter comes to an end, Gokulam Kerala bagged all three points by the solitary goal.

Gokulam Kerala would look to keep their momentum as they take on Neroca FC on December 30. On the other hand, Churchill Brothers will face the likes of RoundGlass Punjab FC the next day.

Starting XI

Gokulam Kerala FC: Dagar (GK); Pawan, Saji, Aminou, Uvais; Sharif, Benny, Zaman; Jithin, Ronald, Rahim.

Churchill Brothers: Shilton (GK); Gogou, Shadi, Vikas, Clemente; Guilherme, Kingsley, Costa, Miranda; Sylla, Ikechukwu.

Substitutes: Coelho (88'), Vinil (91'), Quan ( 93')

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