Gokulam Kerala and TRAU face-off in virtual I-League final

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Kolkata, Mar 26 (PTI) Gokulam Kerala will take on Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) in a virtual I-League final with both sides aiming for their maiden title at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan here on Saturday.

After 14 rounds, three teams -- Gokulam Kerala, TRAU and Churchill Brothers -- are in contention for the trophy.

All three teams have 26 points each and if they end with the same tally of points, the head-to-head results will decide the title winner.

The equation is simple for Gokulam Kerala. They just need to beat TRAU and secure their maiden I-League title as the Malabrians lead second-placed Churchill Brothers on head-to-head record.

Gokulam can also secure the championship with a draw against TRAU if Churchill lose their game to Punjab FC in a simultaneous last round match to be played at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here.

But, Gokulam would rather prefer his team finish the job by beating TRAU.

'This is a final for us, and we need to win this game. We are too excited, we cannot relax. We have just one thing on our mind -- to win this game,' Gokulam head coach Vincenzo Annese said.

'All our hard work, strengths, training sessions, formation have led us here. We need to focus completely on the game and keep preparing ourselves continuously.' He said though his side had beaten TRAU seven games ago, Saturday's match will be a totally different one.

TRAU face a similar equation if they are to lift their maiden I-League trophy. If they beat Gokulam, they claim the trophy even if Churchill win against Punjab FC in the other game.

The Imphal-based side drew both its games against Churchill Brothers, but have a superior overall goal difference which would hand them the title.

'With the talent we have, we would surprise many in the tournament. Our aim was to be in top-six. Being in title race is a bonus,' TRAU head coach Nandakumar said.

'After many positive results, I have immense confidence in my team. I cannot predict the result, but I am sure my players will give their 100 per cent for the I-League title. Whatever the result, I will be a very happy man.' PTI PDS PM PM