Honours even in ‘Southern Derby’
Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC played out a 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Athletic stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Sunday in a game that came to the boil right at the end.
Ashique Kuruniyan (84’) gave the Blues the lead before putting one past his own net four minutes later to help the Kerala Blasters salvage a point.
Both teams showed their intent to grab the all-important lead early on and didn’t hesitate to shoot from distance. Kerala Blasters’ Jeakson Singh tried his luck from outside the penalty area in just the 2nd minute but dragged his effort wide. Two minutes later, Iman Basafa got Bengaluru FC’s first shot on target on the night when he tried his luck from distance only to find Albino Gomes.
The two teams were locked in a midfield battle with no clear winner in the early exchanges before young Sahal Adbul Samad almost stamped his class on the game in the 23rd minute.
Using his strength to snatch the ball from a Bengaluru FC defender, he twisted and turned inside the box to send in a teasing cross that needed an alert Bengaluru FC defender to clear it.
Two minutes later it was Udanta Singh’s chance to show his quality as he after being released on the flanks. After a burst of pace to get to the ball he put in a cross that found Sunil Chhetri but the Bengaluru FC captain couldn’t keep his effort on target.
Both teams struggled to build any momentum after the cooling break and went into the interval with the scores tied at 0-0.
It was Bengaluru FC who created the first opening of the second half in the 49th minute when Udanta Singh and Cleiton Silva combined to hand the Brazilian a chance to shoot on goal but his effort was off target.
The two combined again a minute later but the Brazilian once again wasn’t accurate with his finish as it sailed over.
Bengaluru FC who had the better of the early part of the second half took off captain Sunil Chhetri who still awaits his first goal of the season that would help him draw level with Ferran Corominas at the top of the all-time Hero ISL goalscoring charts.
Bengaluru FC once again threatened from a counter-attack from a Kerala Blasters corner in the 76th minute as the Blues broke with Prince Ibara and Udanta but the latter’s cross was cut off just at the crucial moment.
Albino Gomes then pulled off a stunning save in the 83rd minute from Silva as the Brazilian got on the end of a long throw-in that Kerala Blasters failed to deal with.
However, Gomes had a moment to forget a minute later as he allowed a rather regulation shot from Ashique to slip through his grasp and see it roll into the net as the Blues got an unlikely lead.
But it didn’t last long as Ashique scored an own goal in the 86th minute to help Kerala Blasters draw level again.
The game sparked into life right at the end after a very cagey first 80 minutes and the teams perhaps deservedly went home with a point apiece.
Bengaluru FC face defending champions Mumbai City FC on Saturday while the Kerala Blasters take on Odisha FC a day later.
Source: ISL Media