Gokulam Kerala defended their I-League title after defeating Mohammedan Sporting on the final day of the season here on Saturday. The Malabarians have become the first side in the history of the I-League to defend their title after goals from Rishad P and Emil Benny handed them a 2-1 win over Mohammedan Sporting.
Following a goalless first half, Vincenzo Alberto Annese's side broke the deadlock through Rishad P (49') before Azharuddin Mallick (57') equalised for Andrey Chernyshov's men. However, Emil Benny (61') ensured all three points for the defending champions from Kerala.
A draw was enough for the Gokulam Kerala to defend the title, but they played brilliantly throughout the 90 minutes of the game against Mohammedan Sporting and finished their campaign with 43 points from 18 games.
Gokulam Kerala now turn their focus to their 2022 AFC Cup campaign wherein they are set to take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their group opener on Wednesday, May 18.
The All India Football Federation President Praful Patel congratulated Gokulam Kerala FC on winning the I-League 2021-22 title.
"Congratulations! Gokulam Kerala FC have been dominant throughout in the Hero I-league 2021-22 edition and they fully deserve the crown. Football in Kerala is on the rise, and the Indian Football spectrum will only further benefit from here," Patel said in a statement.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das stated, "Heartiest congratulations to Gokulam Kerala FC. Defending an I-League crown is extremely tough but they have done it in style -- in fact, they are the first Indian club to achieve it. The Gokulam Kerala club model is there to be replicated by all others to move forward together."
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