The Malabarians moved to second and also have a game in hand.

 Luka Majcen slotted in a late penalty to hand Gokulam Kerala a point against table-toppers Mohammedan SC in their I-League 2021-22 match on Friday at the Naihati stadium. Andelo Rudovic scored the opening goal for Mohammedan early on which was later cancelled out by Luka Majcen as both teams shared the spoils.

The game began with Mohammedan SC under the pump as Gokulam Kerala tried to establish an early lead through Emil Benny, who tried to score a long ranger in the third minute of the game but the shot missed the goal by inches.

Mohammedan were quick to respond as they strung an attack of their own in the sixth minute. Faisal Ali tried a shot from close range, but Gokulam’s goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar showed great reflexes to prevent a goal. Both sides tried to claim their authority over the midfield in the opening few minutes of the game.

In the 14th minute, Rakshit Dagar produced two fine saves to keep the scores level as Mohammedan tried to up the tempo of the game. Quick passes and fast-paced football were on full display as both teams were trying to break the deadlock.

The first goal of the game arrived in the 27th minute for Mohammedan Sporting as Marcus Joseph played an inch-perfect pass towards Andelo Rudovic, who made no mistake in slotting in past the Gokulam keeper to give his side the lead.

Gokulam Kerala tried to get back to level terms quickly and won a free-kick just outside the box in the 33rd minute. Star striker Luka Majcen’s remarkable header in the 36th minute was put out for a corner by Asheer Akhtar to keep his side in the lead.

The high pace football of Gokulam Kerala took a hit in the 38th minute as their right-back Shahajas T was stretchered-off after a shoulder injury. Mohammed Jasim replaced him with minutes to go before half-time.

The second half kicked off with Gokulam Kerala in search of an equalizer. Jourdaine Fletcher had a great chance to get a goal for Gokulam in the 49th minute, but he wasn’t able to keep his shot on target.

Gokulam Kerala dominated the midfield battle early on in the second half and were looking threatening. Kerala’s constant threat in the Mohammedan SC box gave them another chance in the 59th minute, Luka Macjaen was prevented from scoring by solid defensive play from the Black and White Brigade.

In the 72nd minute, Sharif Mohammed tried to double the lead for Mohammedan SC from an outside-the-box shot as a deflection put it wide for a corner in the 72nd minute.

On the other hand, the Malabarians were given a golden chance to equalize in the 77th minute as Asheer Akhtar fouled Jithin MS inside the box. Luka Majcen made no mistake in placing it past the keeper to make it 1-1.

Both teams tried to find a winner late on as substitutions were made for the final 15 minutes. Mohammedan sent in S.K. Faiaz and Azharuddin Mallick as they replaced Faisal Ali and Andelo Rudovic. On the other hand, Gokulam Kerala brought in Subhash Singh for Sreekuttan VS.

In the final few minutes, both teams went into a frenzy as the game transitioned into an end-to-end exchange. No team was able to convert the chances into a goal as the game finished on level terms.

Gokulam Kerala are now just two points behind Mohammedan SC with a game in hand. They now have a game against Rajasthan United to secure the top spot in the table with a win. Mohammedan will also have a chance to add points to their kitty and keep their top spot with a game against TRAU on the same day later on.

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