Bengaluru overpower Kerala Blasters in a six-goal thriller
Bengaluru FC picked up their second win of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after beating Kerala Blasters FC 4-2 at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. Rahul KP gave Kerala the lead in the first half but Cleiton Silva restored parity before the break. A frantic second half saw Bengaluru score two quick goals early on through Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado. Jordan Murray reduced the deficit for Kerala in the 61st minute. However, Sunil Chhetri, who had missed a penalty earlier, netted with his head to reopen Bengaluru’s two goal advantage.
- Rahul KP gave Kerala the lead in the 17th minute after a quick counterattack.
- Cleiton Silva scored the leveller for Bengaluru just before the half hour mark.
- Sunil Chhetri missed a penalty at the start of the second half before two quick goals by Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado for Bengaluru.
- Jordan Murray netted the second for Kerala but Chhetri scored soon after to restore the Blues’ two-goal advantage.
After feeling each other out in the early stages, it was Kerala that had the first shot of the match on target in the 15th minute when a quick counter-attack culminated in Murray unleashing a powerful shot that forced Gurpreet Singh Sandhu into making a save.
The Blasters took the lead two minutes later and it was another counterattack that led to the goal. This time it was Gary Hooper who drove at Bengaluru’s defence before passing it square to Rahul, who finished with aplomb to make it 1-0 for Kerala.
Bengaluru weren’t behind for too long though and scored the equalizer 12 minutes later when Silva made the most of Lalruatthara’s sliced half-clearance by producing a first-time finish into the bottom right corner to level the score.
Kristian Opseth then found himself in a good position to score in the 32nd minute thanks to a deft touch by Chhetri that set him up. The Norwegian frontman’s shot, though, was wide of the target and failed to test the goalkeeper.
Bengaluru had momentum on their side after their goal and were getting into dangerous areas, while Kerala had a threatening set-piece of their own towards the end of the half. However, neither team managed to make the most of those chances as the teams went into the break all square.
The second half began with Bakary Kone conceding a penalty following a mistimed tackle in the box. Fortunately for Kerala, Chhetri stepped up to the spot and chipped the ball straight down the middle into the goalkeeper’s grateful hands.
The Blues then recovered from the disappointment of missing the penalty by taking the lead in the 51st minute. Opseth’s attempt on goal from an Ashique Kuruniyan cross from the left took a slight deflection off Paartalu before finding the back of the net.
Bengaluru went on to extend their lead two minutes later after Silva won the ball near Kerala’s penalty area and crossed it for Delgado, who opened up his body and produced a graceful finish to make it 3-1 for the Blues.
However, Kerala weren’t ready to throw in the towel yet after Bengaluru’s third goal. They pulled one back after the hour mark when Murray managed to get a touch on a flicked-on free-kick to make it 3-2. That said, their joy was short-lived as Chhetri made amends for his penalty miss with a thunderous header past the goalkeeper from a Harmanjot Khabra cross in the 65th minute.
The game settled down after Bengaluru’s fourth goal of the night as Kerala probed for a way back into the game, while Bengaluru focused on maintaining their shape and discipline. The Blasters did have a few more set-piece opportunities to get back into the match but Bengaluru’s defence held firm and secured the three points.
Hero of the Match – Dimas Delgado
Dimas Delgado put on a midfield masterclass against Kerala Blasters and was at the centre of most things for Bengaluru. The Spanish midfield maestro showed his prowess at both ends of the pitch with one successful tackle, one clearance and one block in defence. He also netted Bengaluru’s third goal, created three chances and finished the match with an impressive passing accuracy of 83%.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – Bengaluru FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Harmanjot Khabra (Bengaluru FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: