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Gokulam Kerala inflict 3rd home defeat of I-League season on Mohun Bagan

A goal and an assist from Ugandan Kisseka helped visitors Gokulam Kerala beat Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the I-League on Monday.

football Updated: Feb 12, 2018 17:34 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Gokulam Kerala,I-League,Mohun Bagan
Gokulam Kerala inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Mohun Bagan in the I-League in Kolkata on Monday.(AIFF)

Gokulam Kerala FC sent Mohun Bagan to their third home defeat of the I-League here on Monday.

The 2-1 result meant Mohun Bagan ended engagements in Kolkata having lost 15 points from nine games. Given that their first home defeat in three seasons of the I-League came last month --- against Chennai City FC and led to Sanjoy Sen stepping down as head coach ---- this can be why regaining the I-League seems mission impossible this term with every passing round.

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Just when it seemed the teams would sleepwalk through the afternoon, they scored within a minute of each other. A long free-kick from Gokulam Kerala FC central defender Daniel Addo was shielded from Rana Gharami and chested down by Henry Kisekka who then found Mahmood Alajmi. In space between central defender Kingsley Eze and left-back Ricky Lallawmawma, the striker from Bahrain slotted home in the 77th minute.

Mohun Bagan replied in the 78th with Dipanda Dicka heading home a headed assist from substitute Bimal Magar who was found by Shilton D’Silva. Both Magar and D’Silva were second-half replacements for Akram Moghrabi and Cameron Watson respectively. “They looked slow and it led to their central defenders playing with freedom,” said Mohun Bagan coach Shankarlal Chakraborty after his second defeat, the first having come against Minerva Punjab FC.

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The sucker punch came in the 89th minute. Ugandan midfielder Mudde Musa controlled a throw-in and found compatriot Kisekka who banged a left-foot volley taken on the turn after steering away from Eze. This was Kisekka’s second match, having joined just before Neroca FC tie on February 4.

The list of complaints against referees this Indian football season grew by one at Salt Lake stadium when referee R Palmson Moses Raj ignored Mohun Bagan’s claim for a penalty in the 34th minute. Gokulam Kerala FC left-back Provat Lakra, Mohun Bagan felt, had unfairly tackled Sheikh Faiaz to the ground but Raj didn’t think so.

Which seemed strange because Lakra had not drawn level with Faiaz before using his shoulder. True, Lakra wasn’t like a freight train on the wiry wide midfielder but he did lean forward before making contact.

Till Moghrabi missed almost from the goalline in the 63rd minute, that was the talking point of the game. Goalie Bilal Khan got a hand to Moghrabi’s tap, from an Arijit Bagui delivery after turning Lakra inside out. The ball then pinged into Moghrabi’s leg, hit the upright and went out.

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And then came the goals. Mohun Bagan now have 21 points from 14 games and the newbies moved to 13 from 13.

“My boys are improving with each game. They have long-term deals and I am sure, next season this team will do well,” said Gokulam Kerala FC coach Binoo George. Shades of Minerva Punjab FC there?

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 17:33 IST