The Rewind : Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
The first southern-derby between KBFC and Bengaluru FC of Hero ISL season 8 ended in a 1-1 draw at the GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim. Ashique Kuruniyan’s goals at each ends secured a point for both teams.
Coach Ivan Vukomanovic rang in two changes from the last game as Alvaro Vazquez returned to the final eleven and Puitea had his first start of the season. The gaffer once again fielded Blasters in his preferred 4-4-2 formation with Sahal and Vincy on flanks.
Bengaluru started as the stronger of the two sides, tried to control the game from midfield and possessed some threats to our defense in the initial period. Blasters, on other hand, found comfort in sitting deep and bringing up attacks from the back-line. Both teams failed to make any clear-cut chances till the 23rd minute as Sahal Abdul Samad showed his expertise in skill-play and entered inside their box to produce a timely cut-back, but the blues defended it well. Towards the end of first half KBFC made themselves look like a better side with by attacking through both wings but failed to find the goal.
Second half started off with Bengaluru’s touch and the midfield duo of them- Udanta Singh and Cleiton Silva- showed some sparks of finding the net soon. But our defense contained them well and kept us in the game. Just after the cooling break of the second half, one long throw from BFC created confusion inside our box and Cleiton did well to shoot the ball. Albino pulled off a spectacular save from close range to keep everything at level. But a minute later he was at the other end of agony as he slipped off a shot from Ashique Kuruniyan which went past him to give the Blues a goal lead(1-0).
Within 5 minutes, Ashique shook the nets once again but this time it was a own goal. A lobing pass from Nishu Kumar found Leskovic inside the box who played it to the space between Gurpreet and the defenders. Ashique’s vigorous efforts to clear the ball failed and it went straight into the goal(1-1). Both teams continued to look for opportunities but were unable to find a solid chance to bring a late drama. Final whistle from referee Pranjal Banarjee after 5 minutes of added time left us with the search to find the first win of the season.
We didn’t have a good day at the office, but we have faith and courage to bounce back stronger. The men in yellow will now have a week long recovery time after an hectic initial set of games. We will go again next Sunday, against Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Goa.
KBFC XI:- Albino Giovanni Gomes(GK), Jessel Allen Carneiro(C), Enes Sipovic, Marko Leskovic, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam,Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vincy Barretto, Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez.
Subs:- Prabhsukhan Singh Gill(GK), Sandeep Singh Soraisham, Hormipam Ruivah, Nishu Kumar, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Ayush Adhikari, Sanjeev Stalin, Chencho Gyeltshen, Jorge Pereyra Diaz.
BFC XI:- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu(GK), Ashique Kuruniyan, Alan Costa, Pratik Chaudhari, Naorem Roshan Singh, Bruno Ramires, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Sunil Chhetri(C), Iman Basafa, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva.
Subs:- Sharon Padattil(GK), Ajay Chhetri, Danish Farooq Bhat, Wungngayam Muirang, Sarthak Golui, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Edmund Lalrindika, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Prince Ibara.