Kerala Blasters FC players celebrate their victory over Hyderabad FC (Photo: Twitter|ISL)
Kochi: Kerala Blasters FC fought their way back to a 5-1 win against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
Bobo gave visitors Hyderabad the lead in the 14th minute. Bartholomew Ogbeche equalised in the 33rd minute. But it was Kerala’s game from then on. Vlatko Drobarov made it 2-1 in the 39th minute while Messi Bouli added the third for the hosts in the 45th minute. Seityasen Singh scored in the 59th minute and Ogbeche made it 5-1 in the 75th minute.
The win moved Kerala Blasters up to 7th spot with 11 points from as many games while Hyderabad remained rock bottom with only five points from 11 matches.
While Phil Brown deployed his Hyderabad side in a 4-3-3 formation, Eelco Schattorie lined up Kerala Blasters in a 4-4-2 formation. It was the visitors who stated on the front foot as Kerala struggled to get a foothold in the game.
It didn’t take long for Hyderabad to take the lead. In the 14th minute, Bobo received the ball and passed it to Abhishek Halder on the left. He in turn flicked the ball into the path of Marcelo Pereira, bringing the Brazilian into the box on the left-hand side. Marcelo gained a yard of space and drilled a low cross across the goal mouth. Bobo was waiting in between two defenders and tucked the ball into the net.
Kerala woke up after conceding and stared creating attacks. Hyderabad struggled to cope with Kerala’s counter attacks. In the 29th minute, Rafael Lopez Gomez picked up an injury after a tackle from Messi Bouli. He was replaced by Giles Barnes, but the change threw Hyderabad’s midfield out of shape.
In the 33rd minute, a through ball from midfield sent Bartholomew Ogbeche running in behind the Hyderabad defense. While Adil Khan tried to catch up, keeper Laxmikant Kattimani came out of his box to stop the Kerala striker. However, Ogbeche moved the ball to the left, fooling the keeper and slotted it into the empty net. The keeper’s decision to come out of the box was questionable as the Hyderabad defenders were getting back and Ogbeche did not have much support.
It was the 100th goal by Kerala Blasters in the ISL.
There was more trouble for Hyderabad six minutes later. Seityasen Singh put in a floating ball from the right side. Ogbeche could not reach it but centreback Vlatko Drobarov was at the far post to crash it into the net for his first goal in Blasters colours.
Messi Bouli made it 3-1 just before half time. Messi Bouli received a long goal kick from Kerala keeper TP Rehenesh and brought it down for Obgeche. He in turn slipped the ball into the path of an onrushing Halicharan Narzary down the left. Narzary got into the box and whipped in a low cross for Messi Bouli to score. It was a replica of Hyderabad’s goal.
The match was over as a contest as Hyderabad keeper Laxmikant Kattimani failed to keep out a long range shot from Seityasen Singh in the 59th minute.
The midfielder got the ball in his own half and was allowed to galloped forward unchecked. He looked up but could not find anyone to cross the ball to. So, Seityasen hit a dipping shot from outside the box towards the top left corner of the Hyderabad goal.
It looked like an easy take for the Hyderabad keeper, but he made a mess of it. The ball slipped through his hands and ended in the net. The fourth goal and the way it went in knocked the stuffing out of Hyderabad.
Obgeche made it 5-1 in the 75th minute. Messi Bouli got another high ball on the right hand side. He controlled well and moved forward, when everyone thought that Hyderabad defenders got to him and stopped the move, Messi Bouli, lying on the ground, managed to hit the ball into the path of an onrushing Ogbeche. Kerala’s marque signing made no mistake from just over six yards out.
Messi Bouli could have made it 6-1 in the 83rd minute. Jessel Carneiro broke down the left side and lobbed in a wonderful cross. Messi Bouli got in between two defenders but headed the ball over the crossbar.
Gianni Zuiverloon denied Hyderabad a wonderful scoring chance with a goalline clearance in the 88th minute.
Bobo was sent through on goal and was one on one with the goalkeeper. Bobo looked to go around TP Rehenesh but the Kerala keeper go a hand to the ball. However, the ball again fell to Bobo who fired a shot towards the near post. Gianni Zuiverloon came across and cleared the ball away.
Kerala Blasters will celebrate their second victory of the season, which gives them hope to carry on fighting. Hyderabad’s season is all over and they will be playing only for pride.