Kozhikode, February 26: Emil Benny’s hat-trick propelled Gokulam Kerala FC to a superb 5-1 win against Kovalam FC in the Kerala Premier League Group ‘A’ match at EMS Corporation Stadium here on Wednesday.
With the win, Gokulam Kerala FC cruised to the semifinal as group champions with six wins, a draw and a defeat. Gokulam has nineteen points, eight more than second-placed Kerala Blasters FC.
Gokulam Kerala FC, which defeated Kovalam FC, 4-1, in the first leg, dominated throughout the match and found the opener by tapping in a cross in the third minute. The second goal came through Thahir Zaman’s free-kick as Stephen calmly slotted home the rebound.
Emil Benny, who has been excellent throughout the match, scored his first goal in the 44th minute to give a three-goal lead for Malabarians before half-time.
Malabarians started the second half in the same tempo and Emil Benny scored his second goal in the 68 th minute after a mix-up in the Kovalam defense. He completed the hat-trick to give a resounding win for Gokulam in the final match of the group stage of KPL.
“We have been consistent in performance. Other than a narrow defeat against Luca Soccer Club, we were able to dominate all the matches. The win and the top position in the group is a confidence boost for our players. Our aim is to win the title and become champions of Kerala,” said head coach Shajirudheen Kopilan.