Own goal consigns Kerala Blasters to its first defeat of the season
A Nikoli Krcmarevic’s own goal saw Kerala Blasters slump to its first defeat in the fifth season of ISL at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.
The 2-1 win saw Bengaluru FC (BFC) maintain its perfect record against the Blasters and notch its fourth win in five matches. Blasters still await their first win at home.
The match-winner came when the ball ricochetted off the Serbian midfielder’s body and went in after goalkeeper Naveen Kumar had parried a first-time shot from substitute Holicharan Nazaray who was put in position by Miku. However, it was Blasters which started positively. K. Prasanth and Doungel worked up in tandem to test the BFC defence early. Gradually, the visitor took control of the midfield with Dimas Morgado and Udanta Singh working the ball nicely along the right flank to exert pressure.
Bengaluru’s first goal was controversial. In the 17th minute, Miku chipped the ball to Chhetri, who was seemingly in an off-side position, and the latter beat his marker Sandesh Jhingan to score.
The reverse saw Kochi side play with more purpose and exert pressure on the rival goal from both flanks.
In the 30th minute, Nishu Kumar brought down Sahal Samad from behind and in the resultant penalty, Stojanovic sent Gurpreet Singh the wrong way to find Blasters’ equaliser.
The second half was delayed by 25 minutes due to one of the floodlights malfunctioning. Both sides created enough chances in the second half with C.K. Vineeth probably missing the easiest one when he shot out after being put in position by Prasanth in the 77th minute.
The result: Bengaluru FC 2 (Sunil Chhetri 17, Nikola Krcmarevic 80-og) bt Kerala Blasters 1 (Slavisa Stojanovic 30).