Henry Kisekka’s brace helped Gokulam Kerala FC sink Bangladesh Premier League winner Bashundhara Kings, 3-1, in the Malabarians opening match in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Tournament here on Tuesday.
Riding on Henry’s opener in the 24 th minute, Gokulam doubled up their lead in the 31 st minute through a superb free-kick by Nathaniel Garcia. Henry completed his brace in the 46 th minute, with another goal to put Gokulam 3-0 upfront against their famed opponents. For the Bangladesh team Motin Mia scored their only goal in the 74 th minute.
Gokulam Kerala FC started the match on high intensity with constant pressing up in the field to carve out chances. Kisekka had a good chance in the 15 th minute itself but he floundered it by shooting too wide.
Henry was the tormentor-in-chief up front and his efforts soon helped Gokulam to score the opener. After receiving a well-lobbed ball from the midfield he turned quickly to run into the middle of box and managed to beat Bangladesh goalie.
Soon followed Nathaniel Garcia’s goal. The Trinidadian and Tobago winger, who came in as a replacement for Marcus, scored from a beautifully-taken set-piece as he curved the ball to the top left corner of the post to make it 2-0 before the half time.
Henry scored another at the start of the second half to give an unassailable lead for the Malabarians. However, Bashundhara Kings never lost hope and they slowly tried to crawl back into the game with a 74 th minute strike by Motin Mia. Gokulam defence held their nerve to ward off some of their dying minute efforts to seal a winning start.
Of the three Indian teams, only Gokulam Kerala FC were able to win in the AFC-recongnised club competition. Other clubs, Chennai City and Mohun Bagan lost in their respective matches.
Gokulam Kerala FC face Malaysian club Terengganu FC in their next match on October 24.