I-League: Winning start for Gokulam

Skipper Sharif gets the winner against Churchill

Gokulam Kerala FC rode on captain Mohammad Sharif’s strike to beat Churchill Brothers 1-0 and begin its title defence in style on the opening day of the I-League at the Kalyani Stadium on Sunday.

Gokulam took an early lead and defended its post sturdily to keep the aggressive Churchill at bay. Ronald Singh was brought down inside the box and Sharif converted the resultant penalty in the 16th minute.

Churchill, which had more shots on goal, came closest to drawing parity when Bryce Miranda tapped a cross towards the goal. An ever-alert Gokulam ’keeper Rakshit Dagar dived to his left to avert the danger in the 22nd minute.

Gokulam was unlucky to miss out on its second goal as Thahir Zaman’s long-ranger hit the crossbar in the 47th minute.

Churchill maintained constant pressure throughout, but in vain.

Gokulam was also unlucky, its strikers missing the target narrowly on two more occasions.

The results: At Mohun Bagan ground: TRAU 0 drew with Indian Arrows 0; At Kalyani Stadium: Gokulam Kerala 1 (Sharif 16) bt Churchill Brothers 0; Rajasthan FC 0 lost to RoundGlass Punjab 2 (Guthrie 27, Aphaoba 90).

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