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Talking Points: Is Arjun Jayaraj crucial to Gokulam Kerala's I-League campaign?

Written by: Shivam Tiwari

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The home side pinned the visitors in their defensive half and were excellent in their counter-attacks.

It was a top of the table clash between the two sides, with visitors Churchill Brothers sitting at the runners-up position and the home team Gokulam Kerala in third.

Gokulam were caught at the back after a lapse in concentration of the two centre-backs, allowing Lamgoulen Hangshing to set Willis Plaza for a free run at the Gokulam keeper. The team from Kerala responded in style, scoring in textbook counter-attacking fashion.

We take a look at the five talking points from the game:

5. Gokulam Kerala shocked by opening assault

Gokulam started the game pressing Churchill Brothers' defensive half very high. The pressing of the Malabarians was working well and Churchill found it hard to have the ball for long. But, it was an unfortunate moment when the two centre-backs of Gokulam, Oritz and Addo, were caught high up the pitch along with the full-backs.

A good aerial ball that met Hangshing provided him with the opportunity to head between Addo and Oritz, setting up  Plaza in a one-on-one situation with opposing keeper, James Kithan. The Trinidadian international did the rest to give his side an early lead and eventually a crucial point away from home.

4. It was an end-to-end game

The two teams attacked well throughout the match



The game saw end-to-end football throughout most parts of the 90 minutes. The two sides saw very clear goalscoring opportunities go begging as both defended dreadfully. They attacked well throughout, with the game aptly fitting the tag of a top-of-the-table clash.

The teams didn't shy to try their luck from the word go and the two sides were rewarded for the same. Gokulam found the equalizer, while Churchill led from the fifth minute itself.

3. Gokulam's direct football was too hard for Churchill to handle

Gokulam were clearly enjoying the home support, as the Malabarians were in full flow with their direct football. The home side pinned the visitors in their defensive half and were excellent with their counter-attacks.

The pressure unsettled the Churchill defence and they were forced to commit rash challenges. Three of the four defenders Churchill started with, went into the books of the referee at the end of the 90 minutes.


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2. Arjun Jayaraj was the best player on the pitch

Arjun Jayaraj was the pick of the players on the day. The Mallapuram-born midfielder helped his side equalize after the initial hiccup. The goal was a textbook counter-attack executed well by him, Rajesh Soosainayagam and Antonio German.

The 22-year-old was at the top of his game, as he distributed the ball well. Moreover, the midfielder managed to get all of his crosses right. The youngster will want to have more such days.

1. Gokulam and Churchill draw, but the winners are Chennai City

With this draw, both the sides have given Chennai City a chance to extend their lead at the top of the table

The game needed a winner in order to have a strong challenger in the campaign of Chennai City. Before kick-off, Chennai led the two sides by, at least seven points, with both having a game in hand.

By not winning the game, the teams have seen that deficit cut to six points, allowing the Chennai side to have the leisure of dropping points in two more games than them and still go on to win the league.

Published: Sat Dec 01, 2018 03:15 PM IST

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