Delhi go top of the table with a 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters
Delhi Dynamos FC beat Kerala Blasters FC 2-0 in their Hero Indian Super League 2016 match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday evening. Kean Lewis executed a composed finish in the 56th minute before Marcelinho scored the Dynamos’ second at the hour mark in front of more than 15,000 fans to send Gianluca Zambrotta’s men to the top of the league.
Kerala’s Kervens Belfort looked the brightest in the opening exchanges as he tried to dribble his way through the heart of Delhi’s defence. Florent Malouda had Delhi’s first shot at goal in the ninth minute when he fired a free-kick over Kerala’s crossbar.
Marcelinho had a spectacular attempt on goal fly just wide of the target a minute later as he tried to volley a cross from the edge of the penalty box. Belfort was at it again a few minutes later after weaving his way through Delhi’s defence and forcing a scampering Toni Doblas and Lions backline into a clearance. Lewis and Marcelinho then combined to hit the Blasters on the counter but the visitors got back in numbers to thwart the danger.
Marcelinho played a neat one-two with Richard Gadze at the half hour mark before rifling a powerful effort inches wide of goal. Belfort capitalised on a loose pass by Delhi seven minutes later and drove at the hosts’ defence before firing wide of the target.
Belfort continued to threaten Delhi’s defence and floated a dangerous cross from the left three minutes before half-time for Boris Kadio to attack. The midfielder from Ivory Coast managed to produce a powerful header that went fractions wide of the target, to the relief of a diving Doblas as the sides went in goalless at the break.
Mohammed Rafi had the first opportunity of the second half as Ishfaq Ahmed found him with a cross from the right. The 34-year-old tried to direct the ball goal-wards but failed to hit the target. Gadze had the ball in the back of the net in the 55th minute but was flagged offside.
The Dynamos broke the deadlock a minute later after Gadze pounced on a goalkeeping error and set up Lewis, who displayed the necessary composure and touch to steady himself before finishing in clinical fashion to the joy of the home support.
The hosts doubled their lead five minutes later after a brilliantly weighed cross by Malouda found Marcelinho unmarked at the far post. Delhi’s top-scorer this season scored his fifth goal of the season with an emphatic header to make it 2-0.
Delhi nearly made it three in the 68th minute when Sandip Nandy only managed to parry a stinging Marcelinho shot on goal to Gadze, who smashed his shot over the crossbar.
Kerala tried to force a comeback but were left vulnerable at the back with the Dynamos countering in numbers. Substitute Badara Badji almost got to a through ball on the break in the 89th minute but Nandy was quick off his line to clear the danger as the Lions registered their first home win of the season.
Club award: Delhi Dynamos FC
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Azrack Mahamat
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Florent Malouda
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match: Kean Lewis
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Souvik Chakraborty
Hero of the Match: Anas Edathodika