Kozhikode, August 8: Gokulam Kerala FC captain Marcus Joseph scored a hat-trick to give a thumbing win for Malabarians in the 129th edition of Durand Cup against Chennaiyin FC, 4-0, at Howrah Stadium in West Bengal on Thursday.
The Trinidad and Tobago forward set the tone in the first half, scoring a wonderful goal, then doubled the lead in the 66th minute through a penalty and sealed the win with another superb goal in the 75th minute.
Gokulam’s other goal was scored by Ugandan striker Henry Kisekka in the 68th minute.
Gokulam fielded five Kerala players in the starting eleven while Brazilian midfielder Bruno Pellisari started on the bench. Only three foreigners can be fielded at a time in Durand Cup.
Both the teams had a slow start as the players found it hard to move the ball on the wet ground after a downpour. Slowly both the teams found their rhythm and Chennaiyin had some early chances.
However, some solid defending by Andre Ettienne saw off the CFC threats. Slowly Gokulam Kerala FC started to dictate the terms and in the 39th minute Marcus opened the scoring. Marcus receiving a cross from winger Malem controlled the ball on his chest and dinged it into the right corner to give advantage for the Malabarians before first half.
Marcus continued to be a threat in the second half and the captain won a penalty in the box. He scored from the spot with ease to give 2-0 lead for the Malabarians.
Henry scored the third goal of Malabarians as he tapped in a beautiful cross from Naocha after Marcus released him from the midfield. The final goal saw some good footwork by Marcus as he after receiving the ball from midfield dribbled past the defender and goalkeeper to finish the match in style for Malabarians.
Malabarians face Air Force on August 12 in their second match in the group.