10 Aizawl men hold Gokulam in Kozhikode
Kozhikode, January 4 () Gokulam Kerala played a 1-1 draw against Aizawl FC of 10 men in an I-League match at EMS Stadium here on Saturday.
Abdoulaye (14 minutes) advanced to Aizawl FC before Marcus Joseph (70) scored the draw for Gokulam Kerala when the two teams shared the loot.
The game had everything starting with a few heated moments, an expulsion, a failed penalty, two beautiful goals and some brilliant defensive performances, leaving the multitude of capacity completely stuck to their seats until the final whistle.
The match began with a very exciting note as Gokulam Kerala FC exerted early pressure on the visitors.
Consecutive opportunities on the left flank, first by Captain Marcus Joseph, who pulled a stop from the goalkeeper of Aizawl and then by Mohamed Irshad, whose shot crossed the goal.
The surprise moment came in the 14th minute, when out of nowhere, a pass from the midway line of Paul Ramfangzauva found Abdoulaye Kanoute, and with a brilliant volley to the goalkeeper of Gokulam, put the visitors in front.
When all was well, a disaster fell on Aizawl. A career of Nathaniel Garcia on the right and a cross center found Henry Kisseka, but his shot, which was on goal, was handled by Joseph Adjei and a direct red card for the defense of Ghana.
Aizawl dropped 10 men with 70 minutes to the game.
When Gokulam thought they finally had the opportunity to reach the level of grief. But an incredible save by Laremruata with a dive to this lower left side denied home the pleasure of parity.
Attack after the attack began to flow from Gokuklam Kerala, and a heartbreaking cross directed to Henry Kisseka's head by Garcia was well received and again Lalremruata made an acrobatic save.
In the 40th minute, Gokulam made a change in formation when they brought Lalromawia as a midfielder for defender Naocha Singh. Aizawl FC could last until the end of halftime and the visitors entered halftime leading 1-0.
The game resumed and with one less man, Aizawl FC felt the pressure while Gokulam continued to mount attacks from the beginning. Unable to take down Aizawl, Gokulam now brought Salman Kalliyath an end that took a center from Jestin George to achieve that elusive goal.
Finally, it was time for Gokulam when substitute Salman Kalliyath worked his magic. A low crossing to the left foot of Marcus Joseph inside the Aizawl area and a perfectly placed shot put the game in play with 70 minutes left.
With a score of 1-1 and a man in his favor, it was the game of Gokulam.
With only six minutes of regulatory time remaining, a long-range pile driver from Nathaniel García was saved again by a flying Lalremturuata to keep the home team at bay. Coach Rozario brought Ramhlunchhunga for William Lalnunfela, a similar change, to run the clock.
Soon it was time for the final whistle, and the match ended at 1-1. With one point each, Aizawl FC and Gokulam Kerala FC occupy the fifth and sixth position respectively in the Hero I-League point table. Marcus Joseph of Gokulam Kerala FC was awarded the hero of the match. ATK ATK