Chandigarh, February 9
RoundGlass Punjab FC (RGPFC) got the better of defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC (GKFC) 2-1 and secured all three points in a crucial Round 16 fixture of the I-League in Kozhikode.
RGPFC opened their scoring through an own goal and Luka Majcen doubled the lead. Farshad Noor scored one back for the hosts. With this win, RGPFC remain in second place in goal difference with table toppers Sreenidi Deccan.
RGPFC coach Staikos Vergetis made three changes bringing in Suresh Meitei, Mohammed Salah and new signing Juan Carlos Nellar instead of Aleksander Ignjatovic, Freddy Lallawmawma and Krishnananda Singh.
Gokulam Kerala coach Francescc Bonet Caruncho also fielded his strongest side for the crucial match. GKFC started the match on the front foot and looked to take the attack to the opposition but the RGPFC defence stood strong. RGPFC keeper Kiran Kumar made some excellent saves.
RGPFC slowly started to take control of the possession in the match. They took the lead in the 41st minute. Ashis Pradhan played a long pass from midfield that found Luka Majcen whose shot deflected off GKFC defender Pawan Kumar and beat keeper Shibinraj to find the net.
The second half also started with GKFC looking to equalise but the defence of RGPFC did not leave any gaps, which led to the hosts creating very few chances. RGPFC maintained possession of the ball in the midfield and looked to open up the GKFC defence. A corner from such an attack created the second goal. Juan Mera’s corner was met by Khaimingthang Lhungdim but his shot was saved by the Gokulam keeper. The rebound fell to Luka Majcen who finished to double the lead for the away side. GKFC reduced the deficit immediately in the 73rd minute. A well-worked move from the right found Farshad Noor inside the box who finished expertly into the bottom corner.
RGPFC have 34 points from 16 matches while Gokulam 24 points from 15 matches.