Fresh after becoming the first ever club to win back-to-back I-League titles, Gokulam Kerala started their AFC Cup campaign with a 4-2 win over Indian Super League club ATK Mohun Bagan in an All-Indian Group D clash on Wednesday, in Kolkata.
All six goals came in the second half, but it was the home team that looked most likely to break the deadlock in the first half, as ATKMB’s Fijian striker Roy Krishna hit the crossbar after 18 minutes.
The first goal though, came in the 50th minute when Kerala forward Luka Majcen was left unmarked in the box to tap him Thahir Zaman’s cross.
Pritam Kotal did volley home an equaliser two minutes later through a corner routine for ATKMB, only for an unmarked Rishad PP to control a cross from the left, and drive home a shot that hit the back of the net despite Amrinder Singh getting a hand to it on the 57th minute mark.
Majcen then scored his second in the 65th minute, after running into space to receive a pass and comfortably slot past Amrinder.
Liston Colaco did give ATKMB some hope of rescuing a point when he swung in a perfect freekick goal to make it 3-2 after 80 minutes of play.
But Gokulam sealed the match in the 89th minute, when Jithin MS played a delightful 1-2 with Majcen to score the Kerala team’s fourth – taking them to the top of Group D that also includes Bangladeshi side Bashundhara Kings and Maziya from the Maldives.