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Kerala Premier League Roundup: Matchday 1

Kerala Premier League Matchday 1
The I-League side Gokulam Kerala FC are in Group B and are the defending champions.

A quick introduction to the league. The 11 teams that are playing this season are divided into two groups. The teams within the group will play each other in a home-and-away game format.

The new participants this season are Golden Threads, RFC Kochi, Kovalam FC and Indian Navy who replaced Kerala Police, Central Excise and the Cochin Port Trust teams.

Group A: RFC Kochi, SAT Tirur, Kerala Blasters (R), SBI Kerala, Indian Navy, FC Thrissur.

Group B: Gokulam Kerala FC, Kovalam FC, FC Kerala, Quartz FC, Golden Threads FC.

After the group stage is complete, the top two teams from each group go into the semi-finals. The semi-finals will be a one-legged affair and will lead into the finals where the winner is awarded the Kerala Premier League title.

Each team is allowed a maximum of three foreigners out of which one of them has to be from a SAARC nation.

The league started on the 16th of December.

RFC Kochi tennis elbow past Kerala Blasters Reserves

Date & Venue : 16 Dec 18; Maharaja’s Ground, Ernakulam; 18:30

FULL-TIME: RFC Kochi 6-2 Kerala Blasters (R)

A rampant RFC Kochi scored four goals in the first half to settle the game. Kerala Blasters (R) pulled back a couple of goals in the second half, but RFC Kochi added two more goals to finish the whitewash.

Rooney Youseff got himself a brace and the other goalscorers for RFC Kochi were Don, Astilee, Ajith and Quattara.

For Kerala Blasters (R), the former Shillong Lajong defender Pritam Kumar and the Mizo defender Lalthakima were the goalscorers.

Mo Salah helps SAT Thirur to a win over SBI Kerala

Date & Venue: 19 Dec 18; Police Stadium, Trivandrum; 15:30

FULL-TIME: SBI Kerala 1-2 SAT Tirur

Last year’s semi-finalists SAT Tirur won their season opener over SBI Kerala thanks to goals from Adimarikkal Nisham and the former Gokulam Kerala FC wing-back Mohamed Salah.

All three goals came in the first half and it’s a bad start to the season for two-time champions SBI Kerala who failed to finish in the top 2 and only managed a solitary win last season.

SBI Kerala and RFC Kochi share the spoils

Date & Venue: 22 Dec 18; Police Stadium, Trivandrum; 15:30

FULL-TIME: SBI Kerala 2-2 RFC Kochi

RFC Kochi opened the scoring early in the 21st minute, but SBI Kerala got the equaliser towards the end of the first half.

Ajith got his second goal in as many games when he put Kochi in the lead in the 61st minute, but SBI Kerala pulled back with a goal to level the scores four minutes later as the game played out into a draw.

After the three Group A fixtures, this is what the table looks like.

Group A

1RFC Kochi21144
2SAT Tirur1113
3FC Thrissur000000
4Indian Navy000000
5SBI Kerala211-11
6Kerala Blasters (R)11-40

The first group B fixture was played yesterday between the new entrants Kovalam FC and Golden Threads.

FULL-TIME: Kovalam FC 0-1 Golden Threads

Group B fixtures will resume next week and the schedule is listed below.

28 December 2018: Golden Threads vs FC Kerala
31 December 2018: Gokulam Kerala vs Kovalam FC Kozhikode
6 January 2018: Kovalam FC vs Kozhikode Quartz
10 January 2018: Kozhikode Quartz vs Golden Threads

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