The Indian Arrows continue their intriguing journey in the I-League 2017/18 and having staged a perfect revenge on the debutants Gokulam Kerala FC at their home, Matos’ boys reached the double figure mark on the points tally.
Abhijit Sarkar (77′) who scored his first goal in the I-League on his birthday against NEROCA FC, calmly scored the only goal to conquer the team from the southernmost state of India.
Matos went back to his trusted guys Boris Singh and Anwar Ali in defence along with Sanjeev Stalin. Local boy Rahul KP was also handed a start by the gaffer.
The Arrows took only two minutes to settle down as Aniket bombed one from inside the box which just flew over the crossbar. Both teams were steaming in their pursuit of some much-needed points but the defenders were carrying out a pristine job to cancel the attackers out.
Arrows defenders, especially Boris did a tremendous job to tame Odafa Onyeka Okolie and the Nigerian ace striker couldn’t find any breathing space to make a positive impact in the match.
Salah and Kivi tried to outwit the resilient youngsters from the flanks but eventually, that trick couldn’t earn many dividends for Bino George’s boys.
Seconds after the changeover, Rahim Ali came very close to scoring the opening goal of the match but keeper Bilal Khan jumped at the right time to get hold of the cross flown by Rahul.
On the hour-mark, finally, Bino George replaced the off-colour Odafa Okolie introducing Alajmi.
The deadlock was finally broken by the young Abhijit Sarkar in the 77th minute to send the away team dugout into a delirium. Rahul had a whizzing run down the left flank who tried his luck only for Bilal to palm it away to Sarkar who did his job with a calm head to put the Arrows in lead.
Although Suresh replaced the eventual ‘Hero of the Match’ three minutes to the end of the regulation time, the job was done until then.
The hosts earned three successive corners in the dying minutes but keeper Prabhsukhan Gill, who was successful to pull off his maiden clean sheet in the ongoing I-League 2017-18 tonight, calmly handed the situation to avert all dangers.
The Indian Arrows have amassed 10 points from as many matches whereas the Keralite side are six points shy having played two matches fewer.
Bino George will surely look to reboot the system quickly before they face Churchill Brother SC in three days. Indian Arrows will now head to Goa to host high-flying NEROCA FC on January 16.