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Hero I-League 2019-20: Chennai City FC win roller coaster southern clash

Kozhikode, January 10: Defending champions Chennai City FC got the better of Gokulam Kerala 3-2 in an entertaining southern derby of the I-League in Kozhikode on Thursday (January 9). Adolfo Miranda (45th minute), Pravitto Raju (55′) and Sri Ram (77′) scored for the winners, while Shibil Muhammed (81′ and 90′) found the net for the home team.

The match saw three players being sent off and five goals, much to the interest of the EMC Corporation Stadium crowd who found it rather hard to take their eyes off the game after a slow first half. The first half started on a dull note as both the teams failed to gain any momentum as such. Neither Chennai nor the home side Gokulam picked up pace as the build-up play was very slow from both the teams.

In the 24th minute, Gokulam got a free kick just outside the box and Marcus Joseph shot straight at the keeper. In the 33rd minute, another chance came to Gokulam when a ball from the right flank into the box was met by a weak header by Henry Kisekka and it was easily cleared by the Chennai keeper. Chennai who were looking out of sorts for most of the half brought in a positive change as midfielder Pravitto Raju came on for defender Tarif Akhand in the 37th minute.

A change in the formation worked wonders for Chennai as a through ball from the left side of the mid-field went through three Gokulam defenders and Adolfo Miranda was there to receive it. In the 45th minute, he very swiftly put the ball past the Gokulam keeper and Chennai was ahead against the run of play as the Gokulam defenders’ appeal for an offside was warded off. The goal definitely brought life to the contest and Adolfo Miranda was again in the thick of things, his through ball was met by Katsumi Yusa’s run, but his shot was saved by the home team keeper. Chennai went into the break with a one goal lead against the Kerala outfit.