KOZHIKODE: Gokulam FC and defending champions Minerva Punjab will be eyeing the second spot when they lock horns in what promises to be an enthralling I-League encounter here on Sunday.
Gokulam have collected five points from four games and coach Bino George seems to have built a fighting unit with local players leading the charge and foreigners acting as a perfect foil.
They currently sit on fifth position and a win at home could propel them into sole second place in the standings.
Although they looked scrappy in their first draw at home against Mohun Bagan but ever since coming back against Neroca away from home, Gokulam have only looked better with every game.
They lost an exciting encounter to Chennai at home and then completely overwhelmed Shillong.
Indian players Rajesh, Suhair and Gani Nigam have shown an attacking bent of mind at all times, even when the team is behind in the game.
Skipper Mudde Musa is undergoing the suspension and it’ll continue for two more matches following the marching orders that he received against Chennai City FC.
“We got back to the winning mode in the last match at home and played with full confidence.
We will play the same way tomorrow. There is no fear or pressure amongst my boys. This is a football game and anything can happen.
We will surely be happy if we beat the defending champions,” coach Bino George said.
Minerva too look completely transformed with the induction of two Nigerians Donatus Edafe and Bala Hassan Dahir into their ranks.
Edafe, in particular, brought some serious attacking flair in the game against Aizawl and both seem to have have formed working partnerships with the other foreign recruits.
Irishman Paul Munster, the Minerva head strategist, would like nothing less than a win, which will likewise take them to the second spot from their current seventh spot in the standings.
The Kerala side will do well to tigthen their defense as they have conceded six so far in the four games and even though they are way ahead 7-2 against Minerva on the goals scored chart, Minerva has only conceded two so far and in a tight clash, the better defense often wins the day.