Dennis Antwi struck twice in the second half as Gokulam Kerala ended Churchill Brothers' eleven-match unbeaten streak with a 3-0 win in the I-League here on Wednesday.
Dennis Antwi scored in the 56th and 62nd minute after an own goal by Vanlal Duatsanga in the fourth minute put Kerala ahead in the crucial match. With this win, Gokulam Kerala grabbed the second spot, albeit level on points (22) with TRAU, but ahead due to a superior head-to-head record. The I-League title race is now wide open with the gap between the chasing pack and league leaders Churchill Brothers being just three points with three matches to go.
The breakthrough came for Gokulam in fourth minute when Antwi's swirling cross for Philip Adjah, waiting inside the box, was met halfway by Duatsanga who, unfortunately, in an attempt to clear the ball, poked it into his own net. Two late chances for Churchill Brothers courtesy of Luka Majcen and Clayvin Zuniga, in the first half, were both saved heroically by goalkeeper Ubaid Chono.The half-time scoreline read 1-0 in favor of the Malabarians.
In the 52nd minute, Ronald Singh latched onto a long ball by substitute Tahir Zaman, but he was brought down by Suresh Meitei. The referee pointed to the spot and Antwi's thunderous effort from the penalty kick, left Shilton Paul without a reply as Gokulam led 2-0.
The nail in Churchill's coffin came in the 62nd minute when a long ball from the back found Antwi, who wriggled past two defenders and scored with an outside-of-the-boot attempt to hand Gokulam a 3-0 lead. Antwi tried to complete his hat-trick but was kept out by Shilton Paul.