Bengaluru, January 26: Trinidadian striker Marcus Joseph netted the all-important winner in the 38th minute as hosts Gokulam Kerala FC notched up a 1-0 win against Goa's former champions Churchill Brothers FC in an I League clash at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode.
The victory helped Gokulam move up to fourth on the I League table with 13 points while Churchill slipped a spot down to sixth with 10 points.
In a wonderful gesture, the Gokulam management had declared that the proceeds from the game would be donated to the family of former Mohun Bagan and Quess East Bengal player Dhanarajan, who passed away under tragic circumstances last month, and the local crowd responded with an over 25,000 turnout.
Both sides went into the game suffering losses in their previous encounter. While the visitor's coach Bernardo Tabares rang in four changes, some of them forced, like that of the injury to top striker Willis Plaza, Gokulam's Spanish coach Santiago Varela brought in Afghan Haroon Amiri and Sebastian in place of Jestin Geroge and Salman, who had started the last game.
The hosts broke through in the 38th minute via their talisman Marcus. Haroon Amiri got the assist with a wonderful ball into the box piercing the left-side of the Churchill defence. Marcus gamely followed through and his rasping drive beat goalkeeper Jaffar Mondal to bulge the Churchill net. This was his fifth goal of this season's league and it duly got him another Hero of the Match.
The visitors then suffered another blow when full-back Robert Primus had to be replaced just before the half ended through injury.
(Source: I League Media)