Gokulam Kerala FC fought back from a goal down to defeat Sesa Football Academy 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the AWES Cup, organised Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons in collaboration with the Sports Authority, being played at Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Friday.
Gokulam’s win was their first in the tournament and it has left them with four points. Sporting Clube de Goa share the same points but enjoy a better goal difference of plus two and now need only a draw against ONGC in their concluding league clash today to qualify for the semi-finals.
ONGC have qualified with six points from their two consecutive victories while Sesa FA finishing without a point after losing all three matches.
Needing a big win to stay alive in the competition, last year’s finalists dominated from the start but it were their opponents that took lead. Sesa FA scored their first goal of the match and the tournament when Joston Pereira converted a set piece from the edge of the box in the 16th minute.
The goal unsettled Gokulam. The I-League side from Kerala hit back with an equaliser in the 27th minute as Suhair VP capitalised on a goalkeeping error. The lapse from the goalkeeper proved costly in the end as Gokulam never looked back after getting the equaliser and scored at regular intervals.
In the second session, Gokulam started with their goal-rush, although they had to wait till the 73rd minute to surge ahead for the first time.
Nasar PA gave them the lead with a curler and then scored a brace in the very next minute by giving finishing touches to a cross from Deepak Kumar.
With four minutes left to be played, substitute Rajesh S joined the goal-scoring party. It could have been worse for Sesa FA in added time when Gani Ahamed thought he had scored only for Sesa captain and defender Anil Chawan to come up with a goal line clearance.