The Snow Leopards managed to get a single point out of the game.
Gokulam Kerala and Real Kashmir FC played out a somewhat disenchanting draw at the EMS Municipality Stadium in Kozhikode in the 7th round of games in the I-League on Saturday. It was the home side who took the lead thanks to a Pritam Singh strike in the 20th minute, but the visitors did not lose hope and kept going at the Malabarians.
Their patience finally paid dividends in the 69th minute, when right winger Surchandra Singh cut in and scored an absolute belter to level the scores. Both sides had numerous to win the game in between the two goals and even after that, but they failed to do so. It ended all square with leaders Chennai City FC arguably profiting the most from this result.
Here are the talking points from the game.
5. Is Arnab Das Sharma good enough to start for Gokulam?
Goalkeeping has been a major headache for the Malabarians this season and that problem persisted even today. Kunniyil conceded three goals against East Bengal in the last game, so Arnab Das Sharma was bought in place of him. However, the Bengali custodian looked shaky on Saturday evening and was at fault for conceding the only goal.
He failed to guard his near post well enough and even though the shot was an extremely powerful one, his positioning should have been much better.
4. Refereeing has been a major drawback in I-League this season
Refereeing has been a bone of contention in the Indian football circuit this season as poor calls from match officials has caused a lot of controversies. This match was no different either, as the referee failed to hand out yellow cards to multiple fouls committed by both sides and even denied a blatant foul on Joel Sunday inside the Real Kashmir box.
The AIFF must take a much more strict stance on the qualities of the referees if they are to ensure sustained growth in the league.
3. Can Addo continue his good form for Gokulam?
Gokulam Kerala’s central defence was in shambles against East Bengal but they coped much better against Real Kashmir FC on Saturday, thanks in no small part to the brilliant Daniel Addo. He neutralized Krizo and marshalled his troops to break down almost every Kashmir attack.
The Ghanaian even sprayed a few decent balls out wide, but unfortunately, the offence could not make the most out of them. The Malabarians need him to be in top form for the rest of the season if they are to salvage the campaign following their recent poor form.
2. How vital is the Robertson duo for Real Kashmir?
The father-son combination of Dave and Mason Robertson as head coach and player respectively is having a very positive effect on the Snow Leopards. The English duo, especially Dave, has moulded the team well since the promotion and with Mason, an excellent ball-playing defensive player on board, they have a lot of steel and quality in their ranks.
Currently, they are fourth in the league, but it will be interesting where they finish if the duo keeps working their magic.
1. Do Arjun Jayaraj and Surchandra Singh deserve to be a part of the conversation for the national team setup?
Jayaraj and Surchandra were arguably the best-attacking players for Gokulam and Real Kashmir FC on Saturday. The former controlled the game’s tempo by dropping deep and picking some excellent passes throughout the game, while the latter provided pace and creativity down the right wing.
His third goal in seven appearances, Surchandra’s moment came when the away side was desperately in need of some individual brilliance. Arjun, on the other hand, was once again the pick of the lot but unfortunately, his forward line could not do justice to his fantastic game-making skills. With a lot of controversies generated recently at Stephan Constantine’s selection for the AFC Asian Cup, the performances of these players will only add fuel to that fire.