12 March, Kozhikode: Sreenidi Deccan FC went down 0-1 to Gokulam Kerala FC in a tightly contested encounter here at the EMS Corporation stadium to conclude their Hero I-League 2022-23 campaign. Sergio Mendigutxia’s second half penalty proved to be the only goal of the game as the Deccan Warriors ended the season in second place with 42 points from 22 matches.
Having confirmed second place in the league last week, head coach Carlos Vaz Pinto handed a debut to goalkeeper Harsh Patil while also giving young defender Bijay Chhetri his first start of the season. The duo kept Mendigutxia and co quiet in the first half with an accomplished showing at the back as neither side could break the deadlock.
The second half began with the home side winning a penalty courtesy a David Castaneda handball inside the penalty box and Mendigutxia duly converted the spot kick to give Gokulam Kerala the lead in the 49th minute. Sreenidi Deccan pressed for an equaliser but were denied time and again by goalkeeper Shibinraj Kunniyil who made a string of fine saves to keep the scoreline intact.
Sreenidi Deccan will play the winner of the match between NEROCA FC and Rajasthan United FC for a place in Group A of the Hero Super Cup alongside Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters and RoundGlass Punjab FC.