Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


I-League: Gokulam Kerala beat Churchill Brothers, Inter Kashi shares point with Real Kashmir

The win was Gokulam’s sixth on the trot and put them within two points of leaders Mohammedan Sporting, albeit having played a game more.

I-League: Gokulam Kerala beat Churchill Brothers, Inter Kashi shares point with Real Kashmir

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 24 Feb 2024 5:55 PM GMT

"Gokulam Kerala showcased resilience as they withstood a spirited second-half fightback from Churchill Brothers to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory in the I-League 2023-24 clash at Tilak Maidan in Vasco da Gama. This marked Gokulam's sixth consecutive triumph, propelling them within two points of league leaders Mohammedan Sporting, albeit with an additional game played, while extending Churchill Brothers' winless streak to six matches, leaving them fourth from the bottom.

Meanwhile, in another captivating fixture, Real Kashmir FC staged a remarkable comeback to salvage a point with a 1-1 draw against Inter Kashi at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium. Henry Kisekka emerged as the hero, netting a dramatic last-minute equalizer to nullify Mario Barco's opener for Inter Kashi. The match also witnessed a moment of controversy as Inter Kashi's Peter Hartley received a red card in the 90+9th minute."

1. Gokulam Kerala FC make it six in a row at Churchill Brothers’ expense

Gokulam Kerala withstood a second half fightback to beat Churchill Brothers 2-1 in the I-League 2023-24 at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco da Gama on Saturday, February 23, 2024. The win was Gokulam’s sixth on the trot and put them within two points of leaders Mohammedan Sporting, albeit having played a game more. The result stretched Churchill’s winless streak to six and left them fourth from bottom.

The home side made a quick start and were in fact the first to produce a chance of any note. A long ball played out from the back was brought down expertly by Martin Chaves in the Gokulam box. Unfortunately, as deft as the Uruguayan’s control was, his finish let him down as he fizzed the shot wide.

Gokulam made them pay for that in the ninth minute. Sourav’s through ball after drawing two Churchill defenders allowed Alex Sanchez the opportunity to shoot at goal, from a tight angle. He did not miss. Ten minutes later, they had a two-goal lead.

If the first had been about teamwork this was all about individual brilliance. Having picked up the ball from an innocuous pass 35 yards from goal, Abhijith K turned and took a shot at goal, curling his shot brilliantly into the far top corner. It was a wonder strike and completely out of the blue no less. Defeated more in spirit than anything else Churchill couldn’t wait for the halftime break to arrive soon enough.

That break did them some good, because minutes into the second half they had pulled one goal back. The goal was brought on purely by Gokulam’s inefficient defending in their own box though. Rather than letting an aimless cross from the right drift out, Vikas headed it straight back into the path of Faisal Ali, who slid a pass to Louis Ogana. Ogana passed the ball into the net.

Elhadji Karim Samb had a glorious opportunity to draw Churchill level in the 78th minute. He rose highest to a long Alent Colaco freekick, five yards from goal but watched his effort bounce off the crossbar. It was the last meaningful chance either side would conjure, as Gokulam diligently saw the game off to seal the points.

2. Henry Kisekka rescues Real Kashmir FC with an add-on time strike

Real Kashmir FC came from behind to take home a point after eking out a 1-1 draw against Inter Kashi in a crucial I-League encounter at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Saturday, November 24, 2024.

Henry Kisekka scored a last-gasp equaliser to cancel out Mario Barco’s strike. Inter Kashi’s Peter Hartley was sent off in 90+9’ minute of the match.

The draw though didn’t help either side as both were desperate for a win to climb up in the I-League standings. Following Saturday’s game, Real Kashmir find themselves in the fourth spot with 27 points from 15 matches. They have eight wins, three draws and four losses. Inter Kashi, on the other hand, remain in the fifth position with 23 points from 16 matches. They have won six games and drew five matches while suffering five losses.

The defences of both teams proved to be particularly effective, maintaining tight formations and allowing very little room for the attackers to exploit. This defensive solidity contributed to the cagey nature of the match’s opening, with each team focussing on neutralising potential threats rather than creating them. The lack of space and tight marking meant that the game’s early phase saw limited clear-cut chances.

Still, Inter Kashi’s Edmund Lalrindika tried to manoeuvre the spaces and create some chances. He first set up Nikum Gyamar who failed to keep his shot on target before laying it off for Barco with a nice through pass. However, tight marking meant Barco couldn’t reach the ball. Lalrindika himself had the best chance of the match where he found himself in a one-on-one situation with Real Kashmir goalkeeper Muheet Shabir. But the keeper came off his line to deny Lalrindika.

Real Kashmir were happy to sit back and absorb the pressure in the first half. And the script didn’t change much in the second half either. Real Kashmir though created a chance when Kisseka sent a beautiful cross into the box for Jeremy Laldinpuia. However, the midfielder failed to convert the chance.

Inter Kashi could have taken the lead in the second half but Gianni Miguel Dos Santos’ free-kick hit the crosspiece. But they didn’t have to wait much longer to score the first goal of the match. Sumeet Passi floated in a cross from the left and the flighted delivery evaded Real Kashmir’s defence. Mario Barco made a rasping run at the far post to head home a fine goal in the 76th minute.

Real Kashmir, though, found the leveller in the added time of the match. Ifham Tariq Mir sent in a corner from the right and substitute Kisekka leapt over the Inter Kashi defenders to slot home a header and take home a point for his side.

Next Story