Kerala Blasters FC edge past SC East Bengal to regain top-four spot
Kerala Blasters FC registered an important 1-0 victory over SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, to keep them in the hunt for the tightly-contested top-four race in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).
An early second-half goal by Enes Sipovic (49’) separated both sides and sealed the victory in KBFC’s favour.
It was a slow start to the game and both sides struggled to create chances.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz got the first good chance of the game, in the 13th minute, after Adrian Luna played the ball into the box, but Diaz failed to connect with the ball.
Following a failed clearance attempt by Hira Mondal, Sahal Samad got a chance to score, but he missed the target.
In the 42nd minute after some great trickery by Antonio Perosevic, he played a great pass in front of the goal to Rahul Paswan, but Paswan was unable to convert the chance.
The first half ended with both teams unable to create many clear opportunities.
But, Kerala Blasters FC started the second half with a point to prove.
Four minutes after the restart, Enes Sipovic broke the deadlock from a Lalthathanga Khawlhring corner, to put KBFC in the lead.
After scoring, Ivan Vukomanovic’s side was trying their best to double their lead. However, they did not create many clear-cut chances.
As the game went on, KBFC started to slow the game down.
In the 69th minute, Diaz found himself inside the SCEB box, but his shot was saved by Sankar Roy. The Red & Gold brigade had nearly equalized soon after this failed attempt through Antonio Perosevic, who struck a delicious volley but it was brilliantly saved by Prabhsukhan Gill.
However, in the 82nd minute, SCEB had a golden chance to equalize the score. It was a brilliant counter-attack by Mario Rivera's men and Perosevic’s saved shot fell directly in the path of Francisco Sota but he failed to keep his shot on target.
In stoppage time, Wahengbam Luwang had a chance to equalize but his shot flew past the crossbar.
That was the last action of the game and Kerala Blasters took all three points.
This result keeps SCEB in 10th place while the Kerala-based outfit goes up the league table to third spot and just three points behind Hyderabad FC, who sit at the pole position.
SC East Bengal will be up against Mumbai City FC on Tuesday and Kerala Blasters FC will lock horns with ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday.