Neroca FC grab win, Gokulam's woes continue after loss
Kozhikode: Two first-half goals from Felix Chidi and Pritam Singh and a sublime header from Ronald Singh in the injury time completed a 3-0 win for Neroca FC over Gokulam FC as they opened their account in the I-League here on Saturday.
Chidi opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, Pritam doubled the lead in the 43rd minute and Ronald added to tally with a strike in the injury time (90+4).
Bino Geroge's boys almost snatched an early lead within seconds of kick off but the assistant referee flagged it offside to provide some respite to Gift Raikhan and his boys.
Gokulam Kerala FC striker Mbele poked his first goal of the Hero I-League 2017-18 in the 17th second of the match but their joy was cut short by the official.
On a counter attack, Neroca FC found the leak in the Gokulam Kerala FC defence but Mohamed Salah charged at the last moment to keep the scoreline unchanged.
After the early drama in either half of the pitch, the pace of the game mellowed down a bit which was brilliantly utilised by the visitors when they took the lead in the 23rd minute.
Tondomba put in a long ball directed to the Nigerian striker who did no mistake going past Pravat Lakra to tap it home to silent the 8000-odd home crowd. Meanwhile, it was the Nigerian striker's second goal in as many games.
Following the goal, the visitors continued to push the hosts to double the lead but the yellow outfit somehow contained the Manipuri attacks until the 43rd minute when Pritam Singh headed their second goal, much to Gokulam Kerala FC's dismay in the presence of their owner.
Subash Singh outran the defender down the left flank and unleashed a juicy cross inside the six-yard box which was brilliantly converted by Pritam Singh to leave Mohamed Salah and Provat Lakra completely perplexed.