Nigerian forward Adileja Somide shined in Gokulam’s impressive win.
The Kerala outfits were in a fantastic form as they had won their last five friendlies, while, Vasco had a poor start as they had lost 5-1 to Sporting Clube de Goa in the opening match of the tourney.
Vasco coach Eban Misquita made four changes to his side as Lenny Fernandes, Minesh Kunkolkar, Sherwin Lobo and Alves Kouassi replaced Treyson D’Costa, Savio Dias, Anil Gaonkar and Clive Coelho in the starting XI. While Gokulam coach Bino George included two of their foreigners, defender Ugochukwu Godswill and striker Adileja Somide in the playing XI.
Gokulam had an early chance to take lead when Godfrey’s back pass was intercepted by Nigerian forward Adileja but he failed to direct his shot in the empty goal from inside the box as the ball went out for a goal-kick. However, ten minutes later Gokulam took the lead through Adileja. This time he made no mistake to quickly shot past keeper Suresh Lamani after getting hold of the back pass from Alves in the box.
In between these, Vasco also had an opportunity to go on a lead but Beneston Barreto shot wide from inside the box, after he was fed by Shubert Pereira with a lob pass.
A few minutes later Visitors had another chance to increase their lead when Adileja cut past a defender to enter the box and released the ball to well-positioned Shihad Nelliparamban but defender Myran made timely clearance to the striker’s attempt from the close.
At the half hour mark, Gukulam almost inflated their lead but Vasco keeper Suresh brilliantly blocked Arif Shaikh’s powerful shot from the inside of the box.
The rest of the first session belonged to the visitors as they completely dominated and scored their second goal of the match. Ashique Usman made a simple tap into Adileja’s perfect pass from inside the box, making it 2-0 for the Kerala based club, four before the half time whistle.
Vasco came back stronger in the second half and tried to come back in a game with numerous attacks but they could not manage to break Gokulam’s defence led by the Nigerian defender Ugochukwu.
At the hour mark, Gokulam increased their lead through Adileja. The Nigerian forward made an individual effort cutting past two defenders to enter the box and calmly finished the ball into the bottom corner making it 3-0 for his side.
Gokulam’s Adileja was once again in action when he was involved in the team’s fourth goal. The Nigerian striker nicely controlled a pass from his teammate and clinically released to unmarked Arjun Jayaraj, who place it well at the far post to make it 4-0 for the Kerala club.
A few minutes later, substitute Arjun almost scored his second goal but Vasco keeper Suresh advanced a bit to block him in a one-on-one situation
In between these, Vasco also had an opportunity to reduce their margin but Gokulam keeper Hemand Ghosh brilliantly blocked Beneston’s powerful strike from the edge of the box.
Adileja completed his hat-trick scored team’s fifth goal in the added time when he headed in from close after Vasco defenders failed to clear the long throw in from the Dibin M.D.