The developmental side registered their second win of the season against Gokulam Kerala on Friday. 

Indian Arrows picked up their second win of the I-League season by defeating Gokulam Kerala 1-0 at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on Friday. A second half penalty from Amarjit Singh Kiyam was enough to give Floyd Pinto’s men three points and help them leap to the eighth position, while Gokulam are still winless in three.

Here are our talking points from the game:

5. Is indecisiveness in the final third Arrows’ biggest bane?

Indian Arrows managed to break through Gokulam’s defence multiple times with some sleek moves, but that final spark was yet again missed in the final third. They managed to rattle the Malabarians’ back four with speed and exuberance, yet that killer pass just wasn’t there. The youngsters cannot be blamed much for their indecisiveness in attack due to their age, but it’s acting as an internal problem in their game.

Vikram Pratap Singh and Rahul Kannoly both got into promising positions against Gokulam, only to scuff it at the last moment. This needs to be looked into by Pinto, as creating chances without finishing them wion’t count for anything.

4. Can Joel Sunday fill the void left by Antonio Germain?

Antonio Germain’s departure has had an adverse effect on Gokulam Kerala, who are yet to win a game without him. The Englishman was a vital cog in their attack, not only there for scoring goals, but creating them with his clever runs into the channels and creativity. However, his replacement Joel Sunday is yet to impress for the Malabarians.

Sunday was too one-dimensional against the Arrows, sticking to the middle and trying to use his physical prowess to free up his attackers. He didn’t look comfortable and gave a disappointing performance. While it’s still early days for the Nigerian striker, it’ll take him some doing to fill German’s boots and make a similar impact.  

3. Is Vikram Pratap Singh the Arrows’ most potent attacking threat?

Vikram Pratap Singh might only be playing his first season in the senior division, but he’s taken to the I-League very nicely. The former India U-16 captain produced a great performance against Gokulam, proving why he’s touted so highly. Vikram looked an eager, energetic figure on the left and encouraged his teammates to pass to him. He showed impressive pace and close-control in some forward runs and was a thorn in the opposition’s side.

He forced Guilherme Castro to foul him inside the box to earn the winning penalty. The teenager continued to be at the heart of his team’s counter-attacks and showed enough urgency to prove himself as one to watch out for this campaign.


2. Bino George’s rotation experiment ended up a big failure

Bino George made multiple changes to his side, bringing new faces Nasar P.A and Rohit Mirza into the lineup, benching Rajesh S as a result. He didn’t have the services of star midfielder Arjun Jayaraj either, but his experiment didn’t work at all. Nasar and Mirza were both very underwhelming in midfield, being unable to create anything or influence any attacks.

In the end, they were outplayed by a young Arrows side and never really looked able to win. This could be an eye-opener for George, who needs to realize that taking big risks in the I-League brings along stern consequences.

1. Has Floyd Pinto finally disciplined his young squad?

Indian Arrows surprised many by taking the game to an attacking Gokulam Kerala side rather than settling for a point. The youngsters looked intent on making a point, but didn’t overdo things looking to charm the audience. They played a clever game, retaining the ball in midfield and trying to move through the wings where Gokulam are weak. Arrows showed impressive calmness in possession, not digging their own grave by giving it away cheaply.

They were commendable defensively, keeping the likes of Sunday, Rajesh and Christian Sabah isolated. With their second clean-sheet in a row, this win proved how Pinto has brought maturity to Arrows’ game. He’s disciplined them, with captain Amarjit Kiyam helping immerse his philosophy into the young side.