Contact Us

I-League 2018-19: Matchday 2 | Minerva Punjab vs Real Kashmir FC & NEROCA FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC

Hero I-League 2018-19, matchday 2 got underway with Real Kashmir FC vs Minerva FC and NEROCA FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC

Last updated: 31.10.2018
I-League 2018-19: Matchday 2 NEROCA FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC

With the conclusion of matchday 1 of the Hero I-League 2018-19, matchday 2 got underway with the clash of champions, Real Kashmir FC, last season’s winners of the Second Division League taking on defending champions and hosts Minerva Punjab FC at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula, Chandigarh.

It was the much-awaited debut in the Hero I-League for Real Kashmir FC, while it was Minerva’s second game of the 12th edition of the Hero I-League, after having drawn their first encounter against Goa’s Churchill Brothers 0-0 at the same venue.

The second kickoff was between NEROCA FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC at the Khuman Lumpak Stadium, Imphal. Gokulam got their campaign underway with a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan, while NEROCA FC suffered a 0-2 defeat to East Bengal FC at home.

Minerva Punjab vs Real Kashmir FC

After a disappointing 0-0 draw against Churchill Brothers, the defending champions may have expected an easier encounter against league debutants Real Kashmir.

Minerva Punjab (4-2-3-1)

Minerva made two changes to their starting line-up that drew 0-0 against Churchill Brothers. Nongdamba Naorem and Manandeep Singh missed out a spot on the starting XI as they were replaced by Makan Chothe and Kouame Alexandre. Minerva fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ghanian international William Opoku given the license to roam freely, while Akash Sangwan and Makan Chothe manned the wings. Alexandre was the lone striker up front.

Real Kashmir (4-4-1-1)

Real Kashmir played with a 4-4-1-1 formation with Dharmaraj Ravanan, Mason Robertson and Loveday Okechukwu and Muhammed Hamad as the four defenders. Brian Mascarenhas, Bazie Armand, Farhan Ganie, and Danish Farooq slotted in at the center of the park with Aaron Katebe behind Krizo, the two forwards up front.

It was a scrappy start to the game as both teams struggled to get a hold of the game due to lack of discipline in the midfield. As the match wore on, Minerva began stamping their authority on the game as Real Kashmir resorted to a counter-attack approach.

Minerva was able to create plenty of chances after the break but wasn't able to break the deadlock with Alexandre being guilty on several occasions.
But it was the new signing Krizo who fired a shot past Roy and gave Kashmir the lead. Minerva poured men forward for an equalizer but  Robertson’s men held strong and got off to a winning start in their maiden campaign in the first division.

After failing to claim a win in their first two home games, Minerva will next take on Aizawl FC on November 10 whereas Real Kashmir will host Churchill Brothers on November 6.

NEROCA FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC

NEROCA (4-3-3)

NEROCA manager Manuel Retamero made two changes from the side that lost 2-0 against East Bengal. With Katsumi Yusa out injured, Rojen Singh was swapped by Varney Kallon while Saikhom Ronald also made his way in a 4-3-3 formation.

Gokulam Kerala (4-3-3)

Bino George also lined up with a 4-3-3 formation and also made a few changes after a 1-1 stalemate against Mohun Bagan in their opener. D Kumar, Salman K, Arjun Jayaraj and G Nigam paved way for Mohammed Rashid, Ningthojam Pritam, Monotosh Chakladar and Rajesh S.
Gokulam got off to an impressive start and pushed NEROCA on the back foot but it didn’t last long as the home side began exerting their dominance and created several chances but failed to take advantage of them.
Gokulam's counter-attacking approach paid off in the 45th minute when Bodo gave them the lead after being put through on goal by Pritam. But it was Pritam who soon turned villain after conceding a free-kick in the 59th minute which resulted in a goal scored by Ferreira.

NEROCA would have been disappointed with the result as they end matchday 2 with a single point in two games while Gokulam has two from as many games.

NEROCA will be hoping for their first win of the season when they take on Aizawl FC away from home while Gokulam will also be looking for their first win when they will take on Chennai City at home.

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.