Hume’s first-half winner helps Kerala beat Mumbai
Kerala Blasters FC picked up their second successive away win in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 after beating Mumbai City FC 1-0 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. Iain Hume proved to be the match-winner once again, thanks to a 23rd minute strike that cemented maximum points for the Blasters.
After a cagey start, both sides looked to be positive and tried to get forward without making too many inroads in the opposition box. The hosts went close to taking the lead in the 16th minute after Sanju Pradhan played a delightful ball over Kerala’s defence for Balwant Singh, whose header went just wide of the goal.
Gerson Vieira then had a go at goal after the ball fell invitingly for him from a corner. The Brazilian’s effort though, also failed to test the goalkeeper to the disappointment of the home crowd. Five minutes later, Hume scored his seventh Hero ISL goal against Mumbai to break the deadlock and give his side a 1-0 lead.
The Canadian striker remained switched on after Mumbai’s defence got caught napping, thanks to a quick free-kick from Mumbai. Courage Pekuson took the free-kick quickly and played Hume in on goal for him to finish expertly for his fourth goal in the last two games.
Mumbai pushed on in search of an equaliser before the break but Kerala’s defence and the Islanders straying into offside positions needlessly, ensured that the Blasters went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
The Islanders had a brilliant opportunity to restore parity two minutes into the second half after Rino Anto’s attempted clearance went straight to Balwant, who was unmarked in the box. The Indian striker took a touch before unleashing his effort, which allowed Lalruatthara to get back in time and make a block.
Achille Emana then found Balwant with a cross on the hour mark but the latter’s header was a weak one and ended up becoming an easy save for the goalkeeper. Pekuson could have doubled Kerala’s lead four minutes later, after receiving the ball with space to shoot in a threatening area. The Ghanaian pulled the trigger but only produced a disappointing effort that sailed into the stands.
Kerala had another chance to put the game to bed nine minutes from full-time after Milan Singh’s corner deflected straight to CK Vineeth. The Kerala winger got his shot away, but Mumbai’s custodian made himself big in front of goal to make the save.
The Blasters almost conceded a late equaliser after their custodian Subhasish Roy’s weak punch went to Thiago Santos. However, the Brazilian’s first-time shot took a deflection off Balwant and fell for Leo Costa, who rattled the crossbar with his shot as Kerala continued their unbeaten run under David James.
Club Award: Kerala Blasters FC
Swift Moment of the Match: Subhasish Roy
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Sanju Pradhan
Amul Fittest Player: Thiago Santos
Emerging Player: Lalruatthara
Hero of the Match: Iain Hume
Watch the match highlights here: