Gokulam Kerala stuns ATK Mohun Bagan with a 4-2 win

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Having successfully retained their I-league crown recently, Gokulam Kerala stunned Indian Super League (ISL) heavyweights ATK Mohun Bagan with a 4-2 victory in the 2022 AFC Cup at Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday.

The match between Gokulam Kerala and ATK Mohun Bagan was goalless at half time, but goals from both sides in six seconds proved to be an entertaining affair.

Luka Majcen scored a pair of goals for Kerala, while Rishad Puthanveettil and substitute Jithin Subran also scored a goal each.

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For ATK Mohun Bagan, Liston Colaco and Pritam Kotal were on the scoreboard.

In a battle between the two top-tier ISL and second-tier I-League heavyweights, Gokulam Kerala dished out a much more compact and technical display than Bagan. After winning an unprecedented I-League double at the same venue last Saturday, Gokulam Kerala led the way with his Slovenian center forward Luka Majcen.

The victory also gave the Malabarians an early lead in securing the only available place from group D for the semi-finals of the AFC Inter-Zone Cup. Playing in front of strong home support, ATK Mohun Bagan squandered many chances in a dominant first half.

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Fiji’s star centre-forward Roy Krishna squandered back-to-back chances in the 18th minute – first a one-on-one with a Liston Colaco cross and then an assist from Joni Kauko when the ball went just inside the post.

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In the 29th minute, Kauko shot on goal from inside the area, but the Finnish midfielder fired straight at Rakshit Dagar as Gokulam Kerala had some anxious moments early on.

The two-time reigning I-League champions were cautious at first in their first appearance in the continental showpiece, resulting in a goalless first half. Gokulam struck three times in a space of 11 minutes to virtually close out the contest.

A late goal from Jithin Subran meant that Liston Colaco’s free kick from outside the box proved to be nothing more than consolation.

With contributions from the PTI


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