Tag: Gokulam Kerala FC

I-League 2018/19: Gokulam hold Churchill to a 1-1 draw

Kozhikode: Churchill Brothers were held to a 1-1 draw by Gokulam Kerala FC in their 2018/19 I-League encounter at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on Friday.

On the balance of play, Gokulam will feel they should have sneaked it as they dominated proceedings and created better goal-scoring chances in front of their home fans.

Nonetheless, It was a result that fairly reflected an absorbing encounter as Churchill were held to a fourth draw in six matches this season, although they are still unbeaten.

Gokulam had a few promising moments early on, but were kept in check by Churchill’s defence of Hussein El Dor and Nenad Novakovic.

It was at the other end, however, where the opening goal arrived, and it was Trinidadian forward Willis Plaza who slotted a right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner to give Churchill the lead in the 5th minute.

The early setback galvanised Gokulam into action and they poured forward in search of an equaliser. The Churchill defence, while under pressure at this stage, held firm and ensured that they retained the advantage.

But the pressure eventually told and it was Arjun Jayaraj who scored from Christian Sabah’s pass in the 36th minute to level the scoreline.

Five minutes before the break, Gokulam went close via a free-kick from Antonio German, but the Churchill defence was able to avert the danger as the both teams went into the break locked at 1-1.

The second-half was more of the same with Gokulam creating most of the chances, while Churchill looked to pounce on the counter.

Four minutes into the session, the home side had a great chance to take the lead when German played in Rajesh S, but the striker ballooned the effort over the bar. In the 60th minute, Sabah had another chance to score for Gokulam, but struck his shot into the side-netting.

Churchill, though, were always dangerous on the break and, in the 74th minute, they had a wonderful opportunity, but Gokulam goalkeeper Shibinraj Kunniyil saved to deny Dawda Ceesay from scoring.

In the final minutes there was end to end action as German forced a good save from Churchill custodian James Kithan in the 84th minute.

Then in the 89th minute Churchill almost capitalised from another quick break which saw Plaza breaking free on the right, but he failed to grab his brace and a late winner as he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Following the draw, Churchill remain on second position with 10 points from 6 matches while Gokulam on third with 9 points from 6 matches.

Gokulam Kerala part ways with Fernando Santiago

KOCHI: Gokulam Kerala FC part ways with head coach Fernando Santiago Varela. Bino George who coached the team in the last I-league season will return to the helm.

Fernando has put in a request to release him from the duties due to personal reasons. “I had a good stint with Gokulam Kerala FC and got excellent support from the players and the staff of the club. I hope this is not going to be a goodbye forever and hope to come back to this club in the future and win the championship in India. I thank the club, players and the staff who offered great support for me during my stint here. And, I wish the best for the club for this season’s I-league.”, Fernando signed off. During his stint with the club, Fernando helped the club to win its maiden Kerala Premier League title.

“It is unfortunate that Fernando had to leave us due to personal reasons. We will be certainly missing him. However, he has promised to return sooner or later. We will be happy to have him back,” said the club president V.C. Praveen.

Bino George, who was at the helm of the team during the last I-league season will return as the head coach of Gokulam Kerala FC. George who has been with the club since its inception was recently promoted as the technical director of the team.

“We had promoted Bino George as the Technical Director of the team to take care of all the aspects of the first team, academy and the administration. But, as we have brought in Dr. Ashok Kumar as the CEO of the team, Bino will be free to concentrate on the first team as he returns as the head coach.” club president V.C. Praveen opined.

The club would like to wish the best for the departing coach Fernando Santiago Varela and the incoming head coach Bino George.

Gokulam Kerala sign new Nigerian defender

KERALA: Gokulam Kerala FC have secured the services of Nigerian defender Kunle Odunlami for the 2018/19 I-League.

Odunlami becomes the club’s sixth foreign signing for the forthcoming campaign as Gokulam Kerala looks to put together a team that is capable of challenging for I-League title.

Odunlami joins Gokulam Kerala from Nigerian Premier League side Sunshine Stars FC. He also played for the likes of FC Botoșani in Romania and Al Merreikh in Sudan.

The 27-year-old was a member of the Nigeria national team at 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, however, he did not make any appearances. He was also part of Nigeria side that came third at the 2013 African Nations Championship in South Africa.

I-League 2017/18: Gokulam edge Lajong in a five-goal thriller

KOZHIKODE: A game that swayed between the two outfits until the final whistle, finally went to the hosts’ way handing the only Keralite side of I-League 2017-18 their maiden win at their home, thanks to the 90th-minute winner from Arjun Jayaraj today.

Koffi took only 25 minutes to put Lajong in the driver’s seat and the visitors went into the changing room with the slender lead. More thrilling actions unfolded in the second half as not less than four goals were scored in the next 45 minutes.

Bahrainian Midfielder Mahmood Al Ajmi restored the parity for the hosts in the 52nd minute before conceding another within 60 seconds as Lajong’s Korean Defender Juho Oh headed Samuel’s freekick home. Gokulam made the most of Lajong’s defensive lapse as Kivi Zhimomi put the hosts back into the fight once again in the 74th minute.

Finally, Arjun Jayaraj took on his own to whiz past the Lajong defenders and blasted the back of the net to swing the match into their way.

The visitors started on a high pitch in their quest to another three points on the road and the Highlanders were heavily banking on the lanky striker Koffi who delivered rightly in the 25th minute, having tapped in Samuel’s superb cross from the wing.

Bino Geroge’s boys were pushing hard but the equaliser was eluding the Yellow outfit till the seventh minute of the second half when Alajmi’s curling free-kick banged the target to send the Gokulam Kerala FC dugout in a delirium.

Their joy was cut short as Zuho Oh headed Lajong’s second goal within 60 seconds of conceding the first goal of the match.

Lajong asst. coach Alison mentioned that his squad is a young one and they need more experience in the higher stage, their inexperience cost huge as Kivi Zhimoni caught their defence napping and cancelled the visitors’ lead once again.

Alison made some crucial changes in the dying minutes of the match but the fresh pair of legs couldn’t serve the purpose well.

Finally, Arjun Jayaraj’s stupendous effort put the hosts in the lead for the first time and they could maintain the lead to the final whistle to walk away with their first three-pointer at the home.

Lajong will now host the Mariners on February 3, 2018 and Gokulam Kerala FC will travel to the state of Manipur to play Neroca FC next day.

I-League 2017/18: Gokulam will have their work cut out against Lajong

KOZHIKODE: Struggling Gokulam Kerala FC will have their work cut out when they host Shillong Lajong FC in I-League 2017/18 at Kozhikode tomorrow.

After succumbing to five consecutive defeats, the Yellow outfit finally found some respite having clinched a crucial victory against Chennai City FC in their last away fixture. Bino Geroge’s boys haven’t gone through a merrier ride at their home until now where they’ve earned only a point in six outings.

“Win is very important for us in next match against Lajong to increase our chances of finishing in top four”, coach Bino Geroge cleared where his team’s focus is at.

Meanwhile, the coach said that his team is ‘confident’ now, all thanks to the late inclusion of Musa.

“Team is confident now. Our midfield general Musa brought some stability to the team. It was a different strategy from us against Chennai City and we got the result.”

Bino George showed utter respect for Lajong who humbled their Northeastern rival Neroca FC in their last outing, that too at their den Khuman Lampak Stadium, having halted their sublime nine-game unbeaten run.

“Shillong is a good team with good players, but a win is a must for us tomorrow”, Bino George expressed that his team won’t compromise on anything less than all three points tomorrow.

On the other hand, Shillong asst. coach Alison Kharsyntiew is getting a big intrigued because of the hot and humid weather of Kozhikode compared to Shillong.

“The weather is a bit different compared to Shillong. But that’s the beauty of league. We have to adapt to that quickly. I think our boys are prepared for the match against Gokulam Kerala FC. It’ll surely a tough match for us.”

Although Lajong have gotten the better of Neroca FC in their last outing, gaffer admitted that the Reds are not consistent in the league and they’ve to get the mojo back to climb up the ladder.

“We are not consistent. We need to work hard on that. There’s no rocket science behind that. We have to pull up our socks and push ourselves more in the training sessions to rectify the mistakes.”

Lajong’s average age is quite below and the Meghalaya-based team heavily bank on the youngsters. Alison exuded that these boys have a long way to go and they need encouragement to scale a newer height.

“We are a junior team and sometimes, we fall short of experience. We need to improve, put more effort in the training sessions. These guys need to be encouraged.”

Koffi, the attacking spearhead is back in goals and Alison didn’t mince his words praising the striker.

“Koffi is back and he’s getting into the groove. It has helped the team a lot. Samuel is also back from an injury now. He has to shoulder a major share of responsibility tomorrow.”

I-League 2017/18: Santu Singh score the only goal as Gokulam edge Chennai

COIMBATORE: A Santu Singh free-kick handed Gokulam Kerala their second win of their first ever I-League season against Chennai City at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

V Soundararajan replaced goalkeeper Uros Polijanec with Indian custodian Vigneshwaran Baskaran. Chennai’s top scorer Jean-Micheal Joachim and Murilo Almeida combined upfront with support from an in-form Soosairaj who dropped deeper to dictate play from midfield.

Bino George brought Kivi Zhimomi back into the starting lineup and chose to field Mahmood Al-Ajmi as the lone frontman. Mohamed Irshad and Ugandan Mudde Musa were paired up in the double pivot, with Emmanuel Chigozie and Daniel Addo being paired as centre-backs.

The first half mostly dominated by the home side kicked off with a brilliant ball over the defence by skipper Soosairaj to find in-form forward Jean-Micheal Joachim whose audacious chip beat Bilal but landed on the roof of the net.

The same combination troubled the Gokulam Kerala defence a few minutes later when Soosairaj’s corner fell perfectly for the French striker inside the box. Joachim’s shot, however, was blocked by a desperate defence.

Joachim chipped in for Murilo later on with a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Murilo who rushed into the box and sent a low shot at Bilal. The goalkeeper went down in time to save the shot and keep his team in the game.

Gokulam Kerala, who were slow to come out of their blocks, increased the pace of the game as the first-half wore on. Winger Salman was at the forefront of two golden chances for the visitors to break the deadlock at the stroke of half-time.

The forward chested down a ball into the box for an onrushing Kivi Zhimomi who curled his effort wide of the post. A minute later, Salman was at the end of a through-ball into the box but flashed his effort wide from close-range.

Soosairaj nutmegged his marker before getting into the box from the right and sending a delicious low across the face of goal but a lack of runs into the centre of the box by the Chennai City attackers denied the skipper a fabulous assist.

The visitors shocked the home side at the hour-mark by scoring the opening goal. A free-kick delivered into the box by Santu Singh grazed the head of Kivi Zhimomi before hitting the net.

A desperate V Soundararajan shuffled his team around in search of an equaliser but his star forward Murilo picked up an injury in the final stages of the match and had to be taken off.

Chennai City struggled to get back into the game and create clear-cut chances as Gokulam went on to pick up their second win of the season.

I-League 2017/18: Arrows hit the target against Gokulam

KOZHIKODE: Indian Arrows continue their intriguing journey in the I-League 2017-18 and having staged a perfect revenge on the debutants Gokulam Kerala FC at their home, Matos’ boys reached the double figure mark on the points tally.

Abhijit Sarkar (77′) who scored his first I-League goal on his 17th birthday against Neroca FC, calmly slotted the only goal to conquer the team from the southernmost state of India.

Matos went back to his trusted guys Boris Singh, Anwar Ali in the defence along with Sanjeev Stalin. local boy Rahul KP was also handed a start by the gaffer.

Arrows took only two minutes to settle down as Aniket bombed one from inside the box which just flew over the crossbar. Both teams were steaming in their pursuit of some much-needed points but the defenders were carrying out a pristine job to cancel the attackers out.

Arrows defenders, especially Boris did a tremendous job to tame Odafa Okolie and the Nigerian ace striker couldn’t find any breathing space to make a positive impact in the match.

Salah and Kivi tried to outwit the resilient youngsters from the flanks but eventually, that trick couldn’t earn many dividends for Bino George’s boys.

Seconds after the changeover, Rahim Ali came very close to scoring the opening goal of the match but Bilal Khan jumped at the right time to get hold of the cross flown by Rahul.

On the hour-mark, finally, Bino George replaced the off-colour Odafa Okolie introducing Alajmi.

The deadlock was finally broken by the young lad Abhijit Sarkar in the 77th minute to send the away team dugout into a delirium. Rahul had a whizzing run down the left flank who tried his luck only for Bilal to palm it away to Sarkar who did his job with a calm head to put the Arrows in lead.

Although Suresh replaced the eventual ‘Hero of the Match’ three minutes to the end of the regulation time, the job was done until then.

The hosts earned three successive corners in the dying minutes but Prabhsukhan Gill, who was successful to pull off his maiden clean sheet in the ongoing I-League 2017-18 tonight, calmly handed the situation to avert all dangers.

Indian Arrows have amassed 10 points from as many matches whereas the Keralite side are six points shy having played two matches fewer.

Bino George will surely look to reboot the system quickly before they face Churchill brother FC Goa in three days. Indian Arrows will now head to Goa to host high-flying Neroca FC on January 16, 2018.

I-League 2017/18: Arrows Seek Vengeance On Depleted Kerala

0 The only Kerala-based side of I-League 2017-18, Gokulam Kerala FC will now be tested by Indian Arrows, the youngest outfit of the League as the Yellow brigade will host the developmental side of AIFF at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on January 12, 2018.

The I-League debutants are not in the right shape at the moment and their experiment with their roster is continuing. Odafa Okolie who has 100-odd I-League goals under his belt is the newest recruitment to them but he did little justice to his name on his debut for the Keralites.

Coach Bino George didn’t hide his frustration during today’s pre-match press conference too.

“Balwinder has chicken pox. He is admitted to the hospital. I have no idea what is happening”, he could not hide his displeasure as he is still struggling to find the right combination on the half-way mark of the league.

Meanwhile, he reiterated that the foreign signings should contribute more to churn out some positive results.

“The problem with us is the lack of foreign players. We signed Odafa because it was easy to complete the paperwork. He has scored a lot of goals.”

He further added that Arrows boys have a great future ahead as they have their age on their side.

“Indian Arrows are showing a lot of promise for the future. Their possession and passing are all really good. The small mistakes they are committing is due to their age. They will threaten if given space.”

However, the young guns who have taken everyone by surprise until now were on the receiving end during their last outing against Shillong Lajong FC.

The Kerala-based side also had the last laugh against the young guns in the first leg played at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. Indian Arrows coach Matos recalled that match as ‘a strange game.’

“The match against Gokulam in Delhi was a strange game. They scored the first goal from a corner. Their second goal was from a free-kick. At the end, they got the three points.”

He informed that the team is travelling constantly and it might take a toll on the boys in terms of giving their 100% on the field.

“For us, tomorrow will be difficult. We are not in the best shape. Since December 19, we have played so many matches, so very short time to recover. It was a Lot of travelling. These are not excuses but reality. It is not easy for these young boys.”

Meanwhile, coach Matos tested a new defence setup last day having rested Boris Singh, Sanjeev Stalin and Anwar Ali. Asish Rai, Roshan Singh completely justified their selection with a special mention for goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill who was only playing his third match for the Matos-coached team in the Hero I-League 2017-18.

Matos further informed that Sanjeev Stalin is still nursing the injury and he’s unlikely to play his part tomorrow.

The Portuguese coach mentioned that his team is in a continuous-learning mode and they’ll continue to do so.

“We will try our best tomorrow to win. For us, it is important that the fans and the players are satisfied with the way we play. From every game, we learn”, he concluded.

I-League 2017/18: Gokulam ready for Minerva test

KOZHIKODE: Debutants Gokulam Kerala FC are gearing up for their new year clash with red-hot Minerva Punjab FC as the Kerala-based side will host the Punjab outfit at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode tomorrow.

Gokulam Kerala FC’s home outing hasn’t been merrier so far and they were on the receiving end in their final outing of last year when reigning champions Aizawl FC overpowered them, thanks to double strikes by Daniel Addo and Andrei Ionescu.

Coach Bino George, during the pre-match press conference, explained that the cold plunge in foreigners’ form and injury is actually averting them from getting the desired result.

“Ours is a new team. It will take time for us to settle down as a unit. The same applies to players as well. Foreigners are scoring goals for the other teams. We are not getting the same sort of services from ours. That is our problem.”

Meanwhile, he informed that the seasoned prolific striker Odafa Okolie is likely to debut tomorrow for the yellow outfit provided that the formalities are completed before that.

“Odafa Okolie knows what the team seeks from him. He scored nine goals in the second division last season and we had every reason to go after him. Odafa’s paperwork is pending. If it is done, he will play tomorrow. Hopefully, we will get it done by today evening”, obviously this words will give some sleepless nights to opponent defenders in the coming days.

Meanwhile, he added that an ex-Salgaocar FC defender Balwinder is also added to the Gokulam Kerala FC roster recently.

He further said that his team is drawing motivation from Arrow’s miraculous performance against Mohun Bagan where the young guns held the Kolkata giants to a gutsy 1-1 draw.

“Indian Arrows held Mohun Bagan and this is football. So we will try hard to get a result.”

“Minerva lost their last match against Aizawl 2-1. Now they are coming from an extreme climate to a coastal climate. So, there will be a difference and that might give us an advantage. we need to go up the table is one win because there is not much points difference between the mid-table teams.”

On the other hand, Minerva Punjab FC who had a fairytale-like start to the season had to leave the ground empty-handed against Aizawl FC in their last match. They’ll surely look to churn a positive result tomorrow against the debutants and coach Khogen Singh rightly pointed it out.

“It is an away game and the experience of an away game is different. We don’t want to lose games because right now we are second in the game.”

On being asked how his boys will capitalise the 10-day break and go all guns blazing, he stated, “We had a rest of 10 days and it could be an advantage but all the teams in Hero I-League are professional and I don’t think this will make any difference on the pitch. We try to maintain our style of play.”

Meanwhile, Chencho, the Bhutanese playmaker is continuing to mesmerise the crowd and has been the vital cog for the Blue outfit so far. Although Khogen Singh didn’t mince his words to praise him, he praised the teamwork which is actually earning them the results.

“Most of our players are young guys. We trust in how we work. Chencho is playing his part but he alone does not make a difference in football. He is a good player but we have done well as a team”, Khogen Singh said.

Meanwhile, Khogen Singh completely denied that they would come out tomorrow as the ‘favourites’ and he exuded that ‘anyone can win any day’.

“All I-League teams are equally good. Anybody can win against anybody. All teams want to win the game and Gokulam Kerala FC are no different. We have to continue our work and stick to our strategies to get the work done.”

I-League 2017/18: Aizawl FC ‘two’ good for Gokulam

CALICUT: Goals from Yugo Kobayashi and Andrei Ionescu saw Aizawl FC defeat Gokulam Kerala FC 2-0 in an I-League 2017/18 clash, played at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Calicut.

The result sees Aizawl FC, who are on 10 poinst from 5 matches, move up to fifth place on the league table, while Gokulam remain second from the bottom with 4 points from 6 matches.

The hosts prefer to try to snuff Aizawl FC out. With the Bino George-coached side still far from fluent, and with their absentee list, against a full strength Aizawl FC, that was an unlikely prospect on Sunday afternoon.

The result was a quite open, fairly end-to-end game. Tellingly though, whenever Gokulam tried to up the ante Aizawl came back with a bigger response.

The teams traded attacks throughout the opening 15 minutes, with Gokulam needing defenders Emmanuel Chigozie and Dainel Addo to be at their best to deny a lively Leonce Dodoz, while Laldampuia shot just off target from a free kick at the other end.

As the half wore on, the Aizawl FC began to assume a greater control of the game and created some fine scoring chances. The first arrived in the 19th minute when Laldinliana flicked on a throw-in to find Yugo Kobayashi, but the Japanese shot over the crossbar.

Aizawl FC, thereafter, tried their best to get the breakthrough, but found it increasingly difficult as Gokulam remained resolute in defense.

However, Gokulam did succumbed to pressure and conceded when Daniel Addo tried to clear Kobayashi’s goal-bound effort from Lalram Hmunmawia’s cross but ended up putting the ball into his own net in the 45th minute. Though, initially it looked like an own goal but later it was awarded to Kobayashi.

Gokulam looked a better team after restart, and they missed a great chance to level the game within the first few minutes when Usman Ashik headed over from a corner kick.

On the other hand, Aizawl FC doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half, with Andrei Ionescu providing a beautiful finish from Lalmuankima’s pass.

Gokulam reacted by introducing strikers Jimshad U and Francis Idriss, as they proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game.

However, they were unable to find a way past Aizawl FC keeper Avilash Paul, who made several excellent saves.

Meanwhile, Aizawl FC could have even added to the scoreline through Dodoz, who found himself one-on-one with Gokulam custodian Nikhil Bernard, but his chipped finish drifted just wide of the post.