ISL 2020-21: Finally, Kerala Blasters register first win of the season vs Hyderabad FC
Kerala Blasters registered their first win of the season with a cushty 2-0 convert Hyderabad at Bambolim on Sunday.
Abdul Hakku’s header (29′) put Kerala ahead within the half before Jordan Murray (88′) sealed three points for Kibu Vicuna’s side.
Vicuna pulled a surprise, ringing in five changes to the side that started the draw against SC East Bengal – with big names Gary Hooper, Costa Nhamoinesu, Bakary Kone throwing in the towel and an all-Indian defence stepping in. each side opted to start out with just the three foreign players each.
Kerala started on a bright note and had an opportunity to interrupt the deadlock early when a mistake from Asish Rai got Hyderabad in trouble. Sahal pounced on Rai’s poor touch and squared the ball but Odei Onaindia thwarted the danger with an important tackle.
Hyderabad created a couple of half-chances but with Aridane Santana’s finishing weak, they couldn’t capitalise.
Kerala grabbed the opener just before the half-hour mark through a set-piece. Facundo Pereyra whipped an inch-perfect corner for Hakku, who bagged his first ISL goal with a thumping header.
Hyderabad rallied back after conceding, pushing hard for the equaliser and came close before the top of the primary half after some good build-up play. Rai squared the ball for Santana within the box but the latter fluffed his lines and did not get his shot on track .
Kerala puts pressure on Hyderabad within the last half , and carved out great opportunities to double their tally before the hour mark. the primary was when Pereyra threaded during a ball for Sahal within the box. He created space and only had the keeper to beat but his mishit found the side netting. Minutes later, Subrata Pal produced a top-notch save after diving full-stretch to stay Rahul KP’s deflected shot out for a corner.
Hyderabad went all-out in search of an equaliser, but a bit like the primary half, did not convert their chances. the simplest opportunity fell to Halicharan Narzary within the 80th minute, but he miscued his shot. Receiving the ball on the left, the winger cut inside looking to seek out the far corner but saw his effort sail over the bar.
However, their hopes of creating any comeback were caught in a frenzy when Murray put the sport to bed late on. Substitute Adil Khan did not affect a cross within the box and it fell to Murray, who made no mistake and volleyed his shot into rock bottom corner.
Kerala are still ninth, but with 6 points in seven, are just three points off eighth place Hyderabad FC. Kerala now face table-topping Mumbai City on Jan 2, Hyderabad combat FC Goa on Dec 30.