Gokulam Kerala, Punjab FC play out 1-1 draw
Gokulam Kerala vs Punjab
Nathaniel Garcia's strike cancelled out Aser Dipanda Dicka's first half goal as Gokulam salvaged a point at home...

Gokulam Kerala FC held Punjab FC to a 1-1 draw in an I-League 2019-20 clash on Saturday at the EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode.

Aser Dipanda Dicka had put the visitors in front in the 34th minute but Nathaniel Garcia's 63rd-minute strike guaranteed a point for the hosts.

Gokulam and Punjab FC's positions remained the same on the league table after the draw. Punjab now have 22 points from 14 matches while Gokulam have 18 points from 13 matches.

Fernando Varela made wholesale changes to the Gokulam Kerala lineup which lost to NEROCA in their last match. Jestin George, Sebastian Thangmuansang, Kipson Atuheire and Shibil Muhammad were replaced by Andre Ettiene, Ashok Singh, Salman K and Lalromawia.

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Yan Law, on the other hand, did not want to tinker the winning combination much as he made just one change. Sergio Barboza replaced Anwar Ali.

Gokulam were dominant throughout the first half as the hosts constantly posed a threat in front of the goal.

Marcus Joseph came close to scoring on two occasions in the first 25 minutes of the game but failed to put the ball into the net.

Against the run of play, Punjab FC took the lead in the 33rd minute. Aser Dipanda Dicka scored. taking advantage of a terrible misunderstanding between Ubaid CK and Mohammed Irshad.

Sanju Pradhan sent a long ball from Punjab’s half which Dipanda latched onto. Ubaid came out in an attempt to clear the ball but Irshad intercepted the ball. Dipanda then outpaced the Gokulam right-back and pushed the ball into an empty net.

Gokulam restored parity in the 63rd minute when Nathaniel Garcia found the back of the net from a long-range shot. The midfielder received a lay-off from Lalromawia, took a touch and unleashed low shot and Kiran Limbu’s butterfingers allowed the ball to go in.

In the 81st minute, Joseph once again came close to scoring when he attempted a shot from the edge of the box but unfortunately, it hit the far post and came back.

In the dying moments of the match, Gokulam had a golden opportunity to pick up a win when Shibil Muhammad found himself one-on-one with Kiran Limbu. The midfielder entered the box and squared it to his left for Joseph but a poor touch from the Trinidadian allowed Samuel Shadap to get into position and block the incoming shot.

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