Gokulam Kerala FC have been crowned the champions of the I-League, the co-existing primary tier of the Indian football league system. The Malabarians defeated Mohammedan FC 2-1 in the final match of the I-League season.
Rishad PP stunned the crowd of over 35,000 at the Salt Lake Stadium, home of Mohammedan, by scoring in the 49th minute to put defending champions Gokulam Kerala ahead. Marcus Joseph's fantastic free-kick deflected off Azharuddin Mallick and into the net in the 56th minute gave the home team reason to celebrate.
The home fans' joy was short-lived, as the Malabarians regained the lead in the 61st minute when Emil Benny found the back of the opponents' net after receiving a pass from Majcen and running into the final third with no defenders in sight.
Gokulam's goalkeeping coach, Manish Timsina hails from Nepal and was a part of the title-winning team.
Gokulam Kerala will now feature in the AFC Cup starting later this month. They are pitted against Maziya FC, Maldives, ATK Mohan Bagan and Bashundhara Kings, Bangladesh.
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