Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC share the spoils in the Durand Cup
Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC played out a 2-2 draw in their Group C match of the Durand Cup earlier this evening.
The match was a closely contested affair, with the Kerala Blasters creating plenty of chances without the finishing required to close out the game. In comparison, the largely inexperienced Bengaluru FC side made the most of the limited number of chances they managed to create through precision shooting in front of the net.
Kerala Blasters took the lead in the 14th minute through a goal from young Nigerian forward Justine Emmanuel, and from that point onwards, the Blasters strung together multiple attacks against the young BFC side without bearing any addition to the goal tally. Eventually in the 38th minute, against the run of play, Bengaluru forward Edmund Lalrindika equalised for his team.
From that point forward, the intensity of the game picked up for both teams, ending the half-time at 1-1 on an equal footing.
Kerala Blasters began the second half with much higher intensity, raising the pace of the game in pursuit of a goal to break the deadlock; however, this created openings in the Blasters formation, which were brought to the fore by a goal from Ashish Jha in the 52nd minute that brought the Blues into the lead.
Following the trend of the game, Rahul KP’s left-footed attempt missed the goal by a whisker in the 55th minute. Soon after, Rahul was subbed out for Ishan Pandita, who stepped on the field for his new team in the 59th minute, while Danish Farooq was replaced with young Mohammed Aimen in the 67th minute.
These changes brought a new influx of energy into the Kerala Blasters attack, creating more and more pressure on the BFC defence. Eventually, in the 83rd minute, Aimen found the back of the net with a flawlessly placed goal after receiving a clinical pass from skipper Adrian Luna.
With scores tied at 2-2, the Blasters suffered a body blow when defender Hormipam Ruivah received his second yellow card of the game in the 84th minute, leading to KBFC having to play with only 10 men for the remaining 14 minutes of the game.
Post-injury time, when the final whistle was blown in the 98th minute, both teams found themselves level at 2-2.