Gokulam Kerala FC 6 (Alex Sanchez 19′, Noufal PN 28′, 34′, Komron Tursunov 39′, Matija Babovic 90+2′, Nikola Stojanovic 90+5′ p)
TRAU FC 1 (Issahak Nuhu Seidu 61′ p)
AIFF Media Team

KOZHIKODE: Gokulam Kerala ended their I-League season on a high with a comfortable 6-1 victory over TRAU FC at the EMS Stadium in Kozhikode on Friday, April 12, 2024. A first-half blitz was enough to neutralise an already relegated TRAU FC.

With the win, Gokulam Kerala moved to the third spot in the table and will finish there should Real Kashmir fail to win against Namdhari on Saturday. TRAU have ended the campaign at the bottom of the table.

In a blistering first-half performance, Gokulam Kerala stormed out of the gates, aided by an impeccable Noufal PN, to put a beleaguered and already relegated TRAU FC to the sword. It took a while for the first goal to arrive, but once it did, the floodgates truly opened.

In the 19th minute, Noufal provided the assist for Alex Sanchez’s 19th goal of the season, chipping the ball to the forward inside the box. Sanchez saw the ball luckily bounce off his back and into his path, before shooting low and into the net. Nine minutes later Noufal doubled the lead, cutting in from the left after bamboozling the TRAU wingback and unleashing a perfect finish into the far corner. He repeated the trick, albeit from closer range and having been played through six minutes later, and Gokulam were cruising.

Noufal got his second assist of the day in the 39th minute, this time dancing in from the right before cutting the ball back to Komron Tursonov at the top of the box. The Tajik striker took a touch and blasted the ball low and hard into the left of the TRAU goal. Salam Sanaton Singh had no chance.

TRAU pulled one back in the 61st minute from the penalty spot after Premjit Singh was brought down in the box by Salam Ranjan Singh. Issahak Nuhu Seidu slammed the ball in from the spot. Six minutes later Suranjit Singh had a glorious chance to add to TRAU’s tally from close range after Sardor Jakhonov’s free kick found him unmarked in the box. Devansh Dabas pulled off an outstanding save to deny him.

Dabas was called into action regularly over the next few minutes and was up to the task each time as Gokulam seemed to have pulled the brakes on their own attacking instincts. Despite TRAU’s best efforts their goal was breached twice again in injury time. Matija Babovic scored Gokulam’s fifth, turning in Sreekuttan’s low cross with a flick-on finish and then Nikola Stojanovic scored a penalty as Gokulam wrapped up the points.