KBFC emerged victorious against the Indian Navy in a closely contested friendly match here in Panambilly Nagar, Kochi(2-0). Goals from Chencho Gyeltshen and Alvaro Vazquez in each half secured us the game.
Coach Vukomanović fielded Blasters in a 4-4-2 formation, in which Chencho and Jorge Diaz played together upfront. Chencho was placed a little behind Diaz and was dynamic throughout the game until he was substituted. In this game we had a new owner for KBFC’s Captain armband as our own local lad Prasanth was named as skipper for the day. Alongside Jorge Pereyra Diaz, the Croatian center-back Marko Leskovic also made his first appearance in yellow.
The game started with Blasters’ touch and within a first minute a chance opened up for us which was well anticipated by the Navy’s goalkeeper. In the ninth minute, a miss pass from a Navy player was caught by Seitya who gave it to Chencho. His sleek finish to the bottom corner of the net earned us an early lead. Even after the goal, Blasters kept on knocking doors but was kept away from scoring by the Navy defense. The opponents tried to create a breakthrough, but our defense contained them very well. An evenly fought first half came to an end as the referee blew the whistle right after the 45th minute.
At half time, our gaffer made five changes as Alvaro, Hormipam, Rahul, Sandeep, and Luna were introduced to the game. The captain armband was handed over to Khabra as Prasanth was substituted at half-time. Just before the clock ticked 50 minutes, the Navy had a clear-cut chance, but the shot went wide. Another three changes were made as goal scorer Chencho, Dene and Leskovic made way to Sreekuttan, Bijoy, and Vincy. At the 80th minute, after a very nice build-up play from our boys, Alvaro took an on-target shot from close range which was saved by the Navy’s keeper. But within ten minutes Alvaro found a net, as Vincy’s perfect cut-back inside the box reached Alvaro on time. Navy also had decent chances after the second goal, but they were kept away from scoring by our defense. The match ended after 2 minutes of additional time given to the second half.
Albino Gomes, Harmanjot Khabra, Marko Leskovic, Abdul Hakku, Denechandra Meitei, Ayush Adhikari, Givson Singh, Seityasen Singh, Prasanth K, Chencho Gyeltshen, Jorge Pereyra Diaz.
Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Sachin Suresh, Sanjiv Stalin, Jessel Carneiro, Sandeep Singh, Enes Sipovic, Ruivah Hormipam, Bijoy, Puitea, Vincy Barreto, Adrian Luna, Rahul KP, Sreekuttan, Alvaro Vazquez.
Indian Navy :
Robinson(GK), Novin, Vivek, Pradeesh, Navjot, Pintu Mahata, Sarbajit Singh, Jijo, Britto, Inayat, Sreyas.
Anoop Pauly, Harikrishna, Bibeka Thapa, Shahir, Nihal, Riyadh, Hardik, Baskar, Abhishek, Abhishek, Vijay.
We will go again, on the 12th of October, 2021 against MA College. The match will be live-streamed on Kerala Blasters’ YouTube channel.