Sunday, June 4, 2023

Hero ISL 2020-21 Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru FC Match Review: Rahul KP bags injury-time winner as Kerala Blasters beat Bengaluru 2-1

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Match 65 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 saw Kerala Blasters FC come from behind to beat Bengaluru FC 2-1 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. Cleiton Silva scored the opening goal of the night for Bengaluru in the first half but substitute Lalthathanga Khawlhring netted the equaliser for Kerala in the second before Rahul KP scored the winner for the Blasters in injury time.

An acrobatic first-half effort from Cleiton Silva (24th) handed Bengaluru the lead before substitute Lalthathanga Khawlhring netted an equaliser (73rd) for Kerala Blasters. The game looked to be heading for a draw before Rahul produced a brilliant individual effort in injury time. Despite starting the game better, Kibu Vicuna’s men lacked the final ball and was promptly punished by Bengaluru, who scored against the run of play.

Kerala had their first clear-cut chance in the 18th minute when Jordan Murray’s shot from inside the box went over the bar. Minutes later, Sahal Abdul Samad’s threatening run into the box came to nothing. Bengaluru promptly punished them for not making the most of their opportunities. Rahul Bheke’s long throw from the right was not properly dealt with by the Kerala defence and it fell to Cleiton, whose acrobatic volley gave Kerala keeper Albino Gomes no chance.

Bengaluru had a chance to double the lead at the stroke of half time when Costa Nhamoinesu fouled Sunil Chhetri just outside the box. The resulting free-kick was taken by Chhetri and looked to be going in, but Albino pulled off a terrific save. Bengaluru came close to scoring, with substitute Leon Augustin finding himself clean through on goal in injury time. However, he failed to get the ball past the onrushing Albino. There was still time for a late winner, though. After Bengaluru struck the post, a rapid counter-attack from Kerala saw Rahul sprint into the Bengaluru half. Instead of trying to find a teammate, he took the shot himself and succeeded in beating Gurpreet for a dramatic winner.

Hero of the Match – Rahul KP

Rahul KP was involved in all areas of the pitch and deserved to score the winner for Kerala in injury time. He made two successful interceptions in the match and bagged Kerala’s second deep into stoppage time to break Bengaluru’s heart.

Other Match Awards

Club Award – Kerala Blasters FC

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Gary Hooper (Kerala Blasters FC)

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