Guwahati: Kerala Blasters registered their first win in Durand Cup 2022 by beating NorthEast United FC 3-0 in their Group D fixture at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.
Mohammed Aimen's goals in the 28th and 90th minute and Muhammed Ajsal's brace in 55 minutes secured all three points for Tuskers.
The Highlanders started the game with more attacking intensity and created several clear-cut chances in the first half. However, it was Blasters who broke the deadlock through Aimen to make it 1-0. A quick counter-attack from the back helped Blasters outnumber the NEUFC defence, and a deflected shot from Ajsal fell perfectly for Aimen to slot home the opener. Blasters continued to exploit the spaces in the middle in both halves to open up the Highlander's defence.
In the second half, Blasters took a 2-0 lead through Ajsal after he collected Azhar's through ball and fired it into the back of the net. Blasters continued to put pressure on NEUFC and created several clear-cut chances. Aimen bagged his second goal as he went round the keeper and latched it past the net after receiving a long ball from Azhar in the 90th minute.
Blasters will next face Army Green FT on Wednesday, and NEUFC will lock horns with Sudeva Delhi FC.