Defending champion Gokulam Kerala FC remained a point away from retaining the I-League title as it eased past Rajasthan United FC by a solitary goal at the Naihati Stadium on Saturday.
Jourdain Fletcher found the only goal of the match from a free-kick midway through the first half to secure the full quota of points for The Malabarians. Rajasthan FC was down to 10 men when its defender Mauro Dos Santos was marched off with a red card in the 89th minute.
The win took Gokulam Kerala to 40 points from 16 and secured the team a six point-lead on top of the standings. This means that Gokulam Kerala needs just a point from its remaining two matches to secure back-to-back titles and create I-League history.
The expected triumph can happen on Tuesday when both Gokulam Kerala and the second placed Mohammedan Sporting (34 points) make their 17th round appearances.
Earlier in the day, Louis Ogana struck twice to help Sreenidi Deccan FC defeat a strong RoundGlass Punjab FC 2-0 at the Kalyani Stadium. The Punjab side dominated the ball but Sreenidi Deccan won by showing greater efficiency in converting chances.
The results (championship leg): At Naihati: Rajasthan United FC 0 lost to Gokulam Kerala FC 1 (Jourdain Fletcher 26).
At Kalyani: RoundGlass Punjab FC 0 lost to Sreenidi Deccan FC (Louis Ogana 17, 70); Mohammedan SC 2 (Marcus Joseph 54, 90+6) bt Churchill Brothers 0.