I-League: Spirited Gokulam Kerala hold Mohun Bagan, finish seventh
Asier Pierrick Dipanda Dicka struck in the 26th minute to put Mohun Bagan in the lead against Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League match. Henry Kisekka (45+1) found the equaliser for Gokulam just before half-timefootball Updated: Mar 08, 2018 18:58 IST
Mohun Bagan were held 1-1 by a spirited Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League match in Kozhikode on Thursday.
Asier Pierrick Dipanda Dicka struck in the 26th minute to put Mohun Bagan in the lead. Henry Kisekka (45+1) found the equaliser for Gokulam just before half-time.
Mohun Bagan thus finished the 2017-18 I-League at the third spot with 31 points.
Mohun Bagan have accumulated the same number of points as East Bengal, but sit one spot above their arch-rivals due to a better head-to-head record courtesy their wins in both legs of the Kolkata derby.
Dicka finished as the highest scorer this with 13 goals to his name.
Gokulam finished seventh in the 10-team league ladder with 21 points from their full quota of 18 matches.
Mohun Bagan were off to promising start and created several chances in the early stages.
Nikhil Kadam created the first clear chance for Mohun Bagan in the ninth minutre when his cross into the Gokulam penalty box missed the poorly marked Akram Moghrabi by mere inches.
The visitors had another chance just three minutes later, but Dicka’s header off a free-kick by Cameron Watson was met with an excellent save by Gokulam goalkeeper Bernard.
Kadam’s attempt off the rebound went wide following a slight deflection.
The Gokulam defence finally cracked under the relentless pressure when Arijit Bagui raced down the right wing to find Watson inside the penalty area.
Watson’s shot came off the crossbar and Dicka punished the Gokulam defenders for their failure to clear the ball with some excellent dribbling skills and a fine finish.
But the celebrations of the Mohun Bagan fans was destined to be shortlived as the hosts found the equaliser during first half injury time.
Mohammad Rashid capitalised on a mistake by Mohun Bagan defender Rana Gharami to head the ball into the path of Kisekka, who went on to score with a superb finish.
Mohun Bagan continued with their attacking approach in the second half with Gokulam content to defend and hit back occasionally on the counter.
Although Goluma created a couple of promising chances towards the end, the decisive goal eluded both teams.