Sreenidi Deccan fight back to down Gokulam Kerala, keep title race alive

17th March, Kozhikode: Sreenidi Deccan Football Club fought back from a goal down to defeat Gokulam Kerala Football Club 2-1 in a Matchweek 19 I-League clash here at the EMS Stadium on Sunday. After Nikola Stojanovic had scored just before half time, William Alves scored twice in the second half to keep the Deccan Warriors in the hunt for the I-League championship, albeit eight points behind leaders Mohammedan SC with a game in hand.

Head Coach Carlos Vaz Pinto was forced into a midfield change as Lalnuntluanga came in for the suspended Faysal Shayesteh while Gokulam Kerala recalled league top scorer Alex Sanchez and defender Bouba Aminou. The game began on a competitive note with both teams wanting possession and they were not shy of putting in a tackle either. Sreenidi Deccan’s first effort on target came halfway through the first half as midfielder Lalromawia forced goalkeeper Bishorjeet Singh into a save at the near post. But it was the Serbian midfielder Stojanovic who broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute as his crisp finish found the bottom corner.

Sreenidi Deccan came out fighting in the second half and equalised within two minutes of the restart. Brandon’s free-kick from the left was launched into the box and Bishorjeet came to claim but William got there first and the Deccan Warriors were level. In the 71st minute, Rilwan Hassan was brought down by Nidhin Krishna and William converted the resulting spot kick to give his side the lead. Despite a few scares, Sreenidi Deccan held on for the win and will host Churchill Brothers in their next game on March 24.