Gokulam Kerala FC on Saturday won their first-ever I-League title in one memorable way after coming from a 1-0 trail to winning it by 4-1 in the final match of the season.
With Churchill Brothers FC Goa winning 3-2 against RoundGlass Punjab FC which also held at the same time in another venue, made a tie on league points between Gokulam and Churchill brothers but Gokulam secured the title by winning it on head-to-head record.
Gokulam Kerala have also qualified for the group stage of the AFC Cup next season, Asia’s second-tier club competition, and as the club champions, Gokulam are the first team for Kerala to do so. The team’s coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese was also very happy and proud as he couldn’t hide his joy for what the team has achieved.
“This is the best day of my life. I feel so happy and I feel amazing to be crowned a champion. I am immensely proud of my team and we deserved to be champions. We outscored all teams and we have played like champions in this season. This means everything to me. This is my first season in India and it has already been a very special one. We have a very special team and nobody plays the style of football that we play,”. – Said Vincenzo Alberto Annese.
I-League Prize Money distribution:
After winning the I-League, Gokulam Kerala pocketed 1 crore as the prize money while the second, third, and fourth-placed teams got 60lakh, 40lakh, and 25lakh in INR respectively.
Bidyashagar Singh (TRAU) won the highest goal scorer award(2.5 lakh) and also won the hero of the league award(5 lakh). The best goalkeeper of the league award (2.5 lakh) was given to Kiran Limbu of Punjab FC. Syed Abdul Rehman award for the best coach went to Nandakumar Singh of TRAU.
Kerala’s Honorable Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also congratulated them and wished them for more success ahead. This season’s journey for Gokulam Kerala has been nothing less than a fairy tale. From winning the league title under so many twists and turns in the final round to creating history by becoming the first team from Kerala to do so.