United Sports Club shocked Gokulam Kerala FC, 1-0, as former Malabarian Bright Middleton Mends scored 89 th goal to see off the Kerala team’s hopes of starting the IFA Shield campaign in style at Kalyani on Sunday.
Though lost, GKFC had an upper hand in the game most of the time, but they were not able to break the resolute of the United SC’s defence. GKFC’s Italian head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese started the match with a 4-2-3-1 formation, lining up five Kerala players in the starting XI.
The team was on attacking mode from the kickoff onward as the first chance came for Salman in the tenth minute but his shot on goal was parried away by the goalkeeper. Shibil and Ronald Singh had also their chances on goal but all of them missed the target narrowly.
GKFC’s Malian forward Saliou also fired a couple of shots on goal but the United SC goalie was on a superb form as he denied Malabarian’s hopes of scoring before the half-way mark.
In the second half, Annese tried to bring in more attacking flavour as he subbed in Jithin, Vincy and Zodingliana. But the Malabarians failed to break the deadlock. In the last ten minutes, Annese took out captain and defender Muhammed Awal and subbed in Dennis Antwi in search of a goal.
However, United SC responded by increasing their attacking intent and finally Bright Middleton Mends capitalised on weak defensive links of Malabarians in the last minute to hand over a blow to the Durand Cup champions.
“The boys looked like they are nervous. My aim is to win every match and we need to correct our mistakes. We will comeback more strongly,” said Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese.
GKFC face BSS Sporting Club in the next match to be held on December 12.