Kerala Blasters beat Chennaiyin, inch closer to playoffs

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Kerala Blasters FC player Nishu Kumar and Chennaiyin FC player Gurumukh in action during ISL | Photo: PTI

Kochi: Kerala Blasters bounced back from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Chennaiyin FC to inch closer to the Indian Super League play-offs here on Tuesday.

Abdenasser El Khayati netted the fastest goal (second minute) of the season to put the visitors in front before Adrian Luna (38th) cancelled it out with a stunning curling effort and then set up Rahul KP's strike (64th).

This was Kerala's seventh win at home that put them four points clear of FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan at third place in the table. They will take on Bengaluru with a hope to clinch the playoffs on February 11.

Chennaiyin FC's hopes to advance is now down to a mathematical possibility only.

The Marina Machans will face East Bengal FC next on February 12, who could be equal on points with them with a win on Wednesday against NorthEast United FC.

Two minutes into the game, Khayati silenced the stands with his ninth goal of the season.

Victor Mongil failed to deal with a long ball that was eventually played into the path of El Khayati by Petar Sliskovic.

The Dutchman danced with the ball at the edge of the box before dispatching it into the net off the upright.

Anirudh Thapa intercepted Rahul KP's pass to Samad inside the box before the stray ball went straight to Luna, who pounced on it and curled it into the top right corner for the equaliser.

Blasters then turned it around when Luna whipped a cross into the box from the right flank before Rahul squeezed it past Samik Mitra. PTI

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