Kalyani, Feb 19 (PTI) Gokulam Kerala FC scored four goals in a stellar second -half performance to thrash Indian Arrows 4-0 in the I-League here on Friday.
After a listless display in the first half in which Sharif Mohammad missed a penalty kick, strikes by Emil Benny (47th minute), Dennis Antwi (50th), substitute Lalromawia (78th), and Ronald Singh (90+4) in the second half gave the Malabarians much-needed three points.
With the win, Gokulam Kerala grabbed the fourth position in the standings with 13 points from eight matches.
Coming on the back of a solid 3-1 win over TRAU in their last match, Gokulam Kerala FC looked to extend their winning streak. But the Indian Arrows proved no pushovers in the first half as the Malabarians hardly created a clear goal-scoring chance.
Compact and solid defending at the back coupled with clinical goalkeeping by the Indian Arrows in the first half gave the Malabarians much trouble. The Vincenzo Annese-coached side lacked creativity in the final third with the main striker Philip Adjah left isolated.
The Arrows had two chances in the opening minutes of the match through midfielder Harsh Patre, but both chances went inches wide of the goal.
Despite the Malabarians enjoying possession, the Indian Arrows seemed dangerous on the counter-attack.
The highlight of the first half came in the 38th minute when Philip Adjah’s cross for Dennis Antwi led Gurpanthjeet Singh to tackle the latter as the referee pointed to the spot. Gokulam failed to score as Sharif Mohammad’s penalty kick was saved by Ahaan Prakash.
The Indian Arrows had an opportunity to take the lead in the 44th minute when Vanlalruatfela capitalized on a defensive mistake by Deepak Devrani, only to see his shot saved by the opposition custodian.
Gokulam Kerala attacked from the start in the second half. A cross from the left flank caused havoc in the Arrows’ penalty box in the 47th minute and the opportunity fell to Emil Benny, who tapped home from close range to hand the Malabarians lead.
Next, in the 50th minute, the Malabarians were awarded a second penalty and this time, Dennis Antwi converted with ease and beat Ahaan Prakash to double Gokulam’s lead.
In the 77th minute, Philip Adjah had an opportunity to make it 3-0 but his curling shot from inside the box went inches wide of the goal.
However, a few seconds later, substitute Lalromawia scored from close range after Dennis Antwi’s shot, which was saved by Prakash, fell on the midfielder’s path.
Ronald Singh added more gloss to the scoreline in added time of the second half.