Kerala Blasters leave it late to defeat FC Goa 2-1: As it happened

Kerala Blasters come from behind to condemn home side to their fourth defeat of the season.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: October 24, 2016 9:05 pm
live football, live indian super league, live isl, live fc goa vs kerala blasters, live goa vs kerala, live isl streaming, live online streaming, live fc goa vs kerala blasters video streaming, live football streaming, football news, sports news Julio Cesar scored the opener for FC Goa. (Source: ISL)

FC Goa seemed like they were on their way to a second successive win in the first half. They were solid in defence and were putting together very good counter attacks. Kerala Blasters had the bulk of possession and most of the game was played in the Goa half. The visitors’ efforts were rewarded when they managed to score even before Goa had settled for the second half.

Kerala then kept at it and chance after chance without them being aboe to take advantage. Finally, in the 85th minute, Kervens Belfort ran a t the tired Goa defence. He found himself some space and whipped the shot in and completed Kerala’s come back.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20166:51 pm

FC Goa and Kerala Blasters will look to build on their positive results in the last couple of matches as they face each other in the next round of the Hero Indian Super League at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda-Goa, on Monday.

FC Goa grabbed their first win in five matches against Mumbai City FC in the last game after just a point in the first four matches. Kerala Blasters also logged four points from their last two matches after securing just a point from the first three games.

“This game we need to do our best to get the points that we need. This year the tournament is balanced and may be different from the other seasons. To be in the top four, you will need less points because of all the draws. Our main goal is to be in the top four and the focus right now is on the match against Kerala Blasters,” FC Goa chief coach Zico said during the pre-match media interaction.

FC Goa kept a clean sheet for the first time against Mumbai City FC but the seven goals they conceded in the previous four matches is the worst defensive record in the league. Part of this, Zico said, is due their own mistakes since teams had two or three attempts in each game and yet punished them badly.

The defence, though, is now in order with Gregory Arnolin starting the last two matches and even marquee player Lucio returning to the fold as a substitute in the last game. Asked whether he would now have to make a tough choice for the centre-back pairing since Lucio and Gregory are both available, Zico said a final call will be taken only after the final training session later in the day.

“I always prefer hundred percent fit players, even if I make them play in a different position,” explained the FC Goa chief coach.

Kerala Blasters have conceded just three goals in this edition of ISL, the joint lowest alongside NorthEast United FC. In fact, Kerala Blasters have conceded just one goal in their last three matches, thanks to defensive solidity provided by players like Aaron Hughes, Cedric Hengbart and Sandesh Jhingan.

“It was not a conscious decision to focus only on the defence while building this team. I think we are solid, well-organized but we have not got enough goals,” said Kerala Blasters manager Steve Coppell.

The former Manchester City manager said he had nothing but respect for FC Goa and what Zico achieved with this team in the first two editions.

“It will be an open game. Both teams want to win and I don’t think there is a question of losing. Both want to win and you can only win when you go forward. I know FC Goa well. They are at home and it’s their responsibility to take the game to us,” said Coppell.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20166:52 pm

Here are the Starting XIs:

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20167:19 pm

15′ gone, FC Goa 0-0 Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters with more possession of the ball. FC Goa have thus far, held back the attacks while troubling the Kerala defence with their own counter attacks.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20167:24 pm

GOAL!! FC Goa 1-0 Kerala Blasters (Julio Cesar 23′)

You do feel goosebumps when you here a crowd explode like that. The goal, though, was more due to horrendous defending from Kerala than FC Goa’s tactical victory. It was a simple and rather average cross that came into the box. The goalkeeper and the centre back at the far post both looked unsure of what to do with it and Julio Cesar who was there behind the defendor at the far post had to just guid it in with his head. The Fatorda is shaking.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20167:37 pm

35′ gone FC Goa 1-0 Kerala Blasters FC

Jhinghan’s header is just about parried away by Goa goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury. Kerala Blasters have been dominant and have hit the Goa defence time and again but they have lacked quality in the final third. Goa are looking solid at the moment.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20167:51 pm

Half-time!! FC Goa 1-0 Kerala Blasters

Michale Chopra was certainly unlucky not to get a penalty at in the 39th minute when he was clearly taken down by FC Goa’s Keenan Almeida but the referee does not oblige.

Kerala’s first half is nothing more than a disappointing one. They’ve had the bulk of possession, they have hit the Goa defence with wave after wave of attacks. Still they not only don’t have a goal to show for all that effort, they are also chasing a one-goal deficit.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:05 pm

GOAL!! FC Goa 1-1 Kerala Blasters (Rafi 45′)

Kerala Blasters have got a reward for their efforts and that too within seconds of the start of the second half. Rafique played in a first time ball into the box. The Goa centre back tried to clear it but instead slams the ball onto Rafi standing just beside him. It bounces into goal. Lucio, who was brought on by FC Goa clearly to provide some defensive back up, has now been pushed into holding midfield.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:20 pm

60′ gone FC Goa 1-1 Kerala Blasters

Kerala are still dominating possession on the pitch but are looking much more confident now that they are on level terms. For Goa, Julio Cesar has been a live wire, chasing balls down, providing inch perfect crosses and almost succeeding in scoring from an improbable distance.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:30 pm

70’gone FC Goa 1-1 Kerala Blasters

The game has slowed down now with players looking tired. One of the rare moments of excitement came when Julio Cesar was seemingly brought down in the box. Replays show that Cesar wasn;t fouled. Why he had to simulate one when he was clear on goal, only he would know.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:37 pm

80′ gone FC Goa 1-1 Kerala Blasters

Julio Cesar seemed to be clearon goal but the referee sounded the whistle for offside as soon as he touched the ball. Zico is making some attacking changes and also gets the crowd going as he brings on local boy Romeo Fernandez. On the other end, Michael Chopra latched on to a loose ball in the box and took a shot that was saved spectacularly by the goalkeeper. Chopra seems to have pulled a hamstring in the process.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:43 pm

GOAL!! FC Goa 1-2 Kerala Blasters (Belfort 84′)

Kervens Belfort came in from the lefta and started running at the defender who started retreating. A few step overs and then he suddenly cut inside and unleashed a shot that went into goal. Kerala have turned it around.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:47 pm

GOAL!! FC Goa 1-2 Kerala Blasters (Belfort 84′)

Kervens Belfort came in from the lefta and started running at the defender who started retreating. A few step overs and then he suddenly cut inside and unleashed a shot that went into goal. Kerala have turned it around.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:49 pm

FC Goa 1-2 Kerala Blasters

Six minutes of added time owing to the injuries and the goals. FC Goa are pushing with all they have and Kerala need to hold it together to try and keep the score the way it is.

rohitmundayurie October 24, 20168:57 pm

FULL TIME!! FC Goa 1-2 Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters have been dominant throughout the match and it would have been very unfair on them if they had ended up on the losing side. But they kept at it and within seconds of the start of the second half, scored the equaliser. It seemed like the game had slipped into a stalemate but Belfort took advantage of the tired Goa defence and ran at them to carv out space for the goal. Kerala are now level on points with fourth placed Mumbai City FC.