Nikola Stojanovic struck a brace of goals as Gokulam Kerala FC resumed their I-League 2023-24 campaign with a bang as they defeated Inter Kashi 4-2 at the Kalyani Stadium here on Friday. For Gokulam, Nikola Stojanovic scored in the 74th minute and then in added time at the end of the second half (90+4), while Alejandro Sanchez Lopez (30th minute) and Abhijith Kurungodan (39th minute) scored a goal each. Vikash Singh Phijam and Mario Barco Vilar were the scorers for Inter Kashi. Suryakumar Yadav Meets Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Exchanges Jerseys With Manchester United Legend (See Post).
The win helped Gokulam Kerala climb to the fourth spot in the I-League table. They have 20 points from 12 matches after notching up five wins, drawing five games and suffering two losses. Inter Kashi, on the other hand, remained in the seventh spot with 18 points from 13 matches, including five wins, three draws and three losses.
It was Inter Kashi though who took the lead on Friday. Gianni Miguel Dos Santos made a run on the right flank before delivering a beautiful cross into the box. Phijam made a timely run and headed the ball home with ease.
However, Gokulam Kerala responded seven minutes later. Noufal PN put in a low cross into the Inter Kashi box and Lopez connected with the ball with a powerful right foot to score. Sanchez, who is already the top goalscorer in the I-League, took his tally to 12 goals.
Abhijith extended Gokulam Kerala’s lead in the 39th minute. Sanchez was released a timely through ball before the Spaniard pulled the ball back for Kurungodan. The midfielder didn’t make any mistake as he scored with his right foot.
Gokulam Kerala started the second half with the same momentum and Stojanovic scored his first goal of the match in the 74th minute. Matija Babovic fought with the Inter Kashi defenders to take control of the ball before laying it up for Stojanovic. The midfielder showed great skills to lob the ball over the Inter Kashi defenders and goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya and find the back of the net. ISL 2023–24 Leaders Odisha FC Face Stern Test Against Unbeaten FC Goa.
Mario Barco Vilar pulled one back for Inter Kashi in the 86th minute with a solo effort. The Spaniard made a dashing run into the Gokulam box and unleashed a left-footer which took a wicked deflection before fetching the back of the net.
Gokulam Kerala though sealed the match in their favour in the added minute of the extra time. Stojanovic dodged and dribbled past Inter Kashi defenders to score with a brilliant left-footer to ensure full three points for his side.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 10, 2024 09:41 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).