New Delhi: Gokulam Kerala FC advanced to the semi-finals of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup on Saturday after a comfortable 2-0 win over I-League 2018-19 champions Chennai City FC at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong.
Gokulam Kerala, who are the first club from Kerala to participate in an AFC-recognised tournament, joined Mohun Bagan in the semi-finals as the Kolkata club had sealed their place with a 1-0 win over Chittagong Abahani.
Chennai City FC had already been knocked out of the tournament after their second loss two days ago itself but could not stop Gokulam from advancing to the last four, with Lalromawia and Henry Kisekka getting on the scoresheet.
It was the I-League champions Chennai City FC who had the initial possession but as Gokulam Kerala FC took control of the match, they were clearly the better team.
What a convincing victory against I League Champions ! MALABARIANS ENTER THE SEMIFINALS IN STYLE🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/rR2lWcNLfh
— Gokulam Kerala FC (@GokulamKeralaFC) October 26, 2019
In the 4th minute, Chennai had a corner that was delivered right at the goalmouth but nobody could get a clear connection with the ball.
In the 5th minute, Chennai goalkeeper Nauzet was called to action as the brilliant shot from Gokulam had to be punched out by him.
8th minute, a brilliant free kick was delivered towards the far post, where Henry Kisekka controlled the ball and shot at the goal but Nauzet got his hand to save the first attempt. However, Lalromawia was in front of the goal to slot in the rebound.
In the 11th minute, Nathaniel Garcia sent a fabulous free kick into the box, Irshad put in a brilliant dummy and with the ball at Henry's feet, he made no mistake and slotted the ball home.
Chennai City FC failed to asset themselves properly with Gokulam Kerala defenders doing a good job at keeping their moves at bay.
In the 25th minute, Lalromawia found an unmarked Henry but his shot was saved by Nauzet.
Gokulam Kerala FC remained on top throughout the first half but no more goals were registered as the teams went into half time with the scoreline reading 2-0 in favour of the Durand Cup champions.
Gokulam missed a golden chance to score a third in the 57th minute when Sebastian missed a sitter. It was Nathaniel once again at the heart of the move as he danced with the ball in the Chennai box to find Henry, who found an unmarked Sebastian. The wing back however sent his shot well over the bar.
In the 71st minute, Chennai came close to finding a goal back but Andre played the role of a perfect shield to held Ubaid collect the ball. Immediately on the counter, Gokulam created a chance of their own but were able to finish it.
Henry Kisekka was a handful for the Chennai defence throughout the match before Muirang came on for him. In the 84th minute, Marcus, who had come on as substitution for Lalromawia, went for goal but was denied by Nauzet.
Eventually, Chennai failed to make any real inroads against Gokulam and the Durand Cup champions strolled into the semi-finals.