Kokata: A hat-trick by Nigerian striker Chisom Elvis Chikatara helped holders Gokulam Kerala FC thump Assam Rifles 7-2 and storm into the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup here on Sunday.
It was a dream start for Gokluam Kerala at the Kalyani Stadium. Chikatara opened the scoring in the opening minute, while midfielder Beneston Barretto doubled the lead in the third minute.
Ghanaian striker Rahim Osumanu made it 3-0 in the 34th minute. Though Assam Rifles pulled one back through Soibam Roger Singh, Barretto scored his second in injury time as Gokulam went into the break with a 4-1 lead.
Chikatara made it 5-1 in the 52nd, while Sourav scored his first goal for Gokulam in the 61st.
Though Assam Rifles pulled one back through Samujal Rabha, Chikatara completed his hat-trick and Gokulam's tally in the 71st.
Gokulam topped Group D with seven points from three games ahead of Army Red on goal difference. Army Red beat Hyderabad FC 2-1 in the other match to progress to the quarterfinals.
Gokulam to meet Mohammedans
Gokulam will take on Mohammedan Sporting Club, while Army Red clash with Bengaluru United in the quarterfinals.
The other Kerala team in the fray, Kerala Blasters meet Delhi FC in their final Group C game on Tuesday.