A close battle on the cards in KPL summit clash

March 18, 2023 08:14 pm | Updated 08:14 pm IST - KALPETTA:

It’s a two-time champion and was twice runner-up. Clearly, history favours Gokulam Kerala as it takes on Kerala United in the final of the 10th Scoreline Kerala Premier League football at the M.K. Jinachandran Stadium here on Sunday.

Gokulam, which last won the KPL in 2021, appeared wobbly in the first of its double-leg semifinal against the young Kovalam FC grabbing an injury-time match-winner but turned on the power in the second leg for a 3-0 victory.

With its main team being a former I-League champion — it finished third this year — Gokulam, coached by Paulo Jorge da Silva, also has solid experience behind it.

On the other hand Kerala United, which will be playing its maiden KPL final, won its first-leg semifinal against Wayanad United by a handsome 3-0 margin but lost the second leg 1-0.

But Kerala has had an extra day’s rest and more time to set things right.

The two teams drew 1-1 in the super-six stage and the final could be a very close affair.

“I respect them, they are a very good team...it will be a tough fight,” said Saheed Ramon, the Kerala coach.

The winner of the match will get a ticket to the Second Division I-League but as Gokulam already has a team in the I-League, Kerala is assured of a berth.

The kick-off is at 7.30 p.m.

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