Hero I-League: Gokulam face Arrows as Super Cup qualification beckons

Kozhikode, February 15, 2019: Gokulam Kerala face Indian Arrows at the EMS Corporation Stadium on Saturday as both sides aim to finish as high as possible on the points table.

It may be noted that the title aspirations of both teams are long gone. The game kicks off at 5 pm IST.

Gokulam missed their earlier game against Aizawl FC at Kozhikode after being stuck in Srinagar due to heavy snowfall. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has rescheduled the game for February 28 at the same venue.

Arrows had beaten Gokulam 1-0 in the previous leg thanks to Amarjit Singh Kiyam’s goal.

The home team is currently in 10th spot having garnered 12 points from their 15 games so far. Despite reining in Gift Raikhan as Technical Director, they have not been able to get back to winning ways. They last won a game almost three months back!

Arrows, on the other hand, have bounced back from early losses and are in a respectable seventh position on the table. They have five wins to go with 11 losses and a draw.

Gokulam gained two points in their last six games. It came after four straight losses! In their previous game, they lost to Real Kashmir in chilling weather conditions amid a mix of rain and snowfall.

The only silver lining for Gokulam in recent times has been Marcus Joseph, the top scorer of the Trinidadian pro-league. He scored twice for his new club in four games.

Precocious talents like Rajesh, Arjun Jayaraj, VP Suhair, Gani Nigam and Baoringdao Bodo should help them get a positive result on Saturday.

Raikhan had a clear objective in mind at the pre-game presser: “We will be playing a home match tomorrow. It is a vital match for us as we need three points. We have prepared ourselves for tomorrow’s match and the boys are ready with full motivation. Tactically, physically and mentally, we are ready for tomorrow’s match. We have five matches remaining in our hand one is away and four at home. We will collect as many points as we can and try to be in the top six so that we can go directly to the Super Cup.”

Arrows have steadily improved and it has resulted in growing confidence levels. Although they lost 2-0 against Chennai City in their previous game, they made the league leaders sweat for the full 90 minutes. Sandro’s moment of brilliance turned the game in Chennai’s favor.

Their coach Floyd Pinto expressed confidence at the press conference: “Expecting a similar kind of match and hoping to get the same result as last year. We are going to work really hard. We aim to finish as high as we can in the table. If we can get any points from tomorrow’s match it will help us. We are in the 7th position, but we have played more matches. We have three matches left and we will try to give our best. The boys have kept improving and they are more comfortable this season. Most of our games have been fine margins.”

A good game is on cards as both teams look eager to improve their respective positions in the league table.

Also Read: Myanmar coach hails ‘lucky’ win against India


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