Sushanth Mathew scores a stunner in Kerala Blasters 3-0 win over Chennaiyin FC in first leg of semifinal

Kerala, who barely scrapped through to the semis, turned the form book into its head to outplay Chennai.

By: Press Trust of India | Kochi | Published: December 13, 2014 9:43 pm
Sushanth Mathew scored a stunner and probably the goal of the League in the 94th minute. (Source: ISL) Sushanth Mathew scored a stunner and probably the goal of the League in the 94th minute. (Source: ISL)

Kerala Blasters pumped in two goals in the space of two minutes in the first session to thrash Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in the first leg of the first semifinal of the Hero Indian Super League football tournament in Kochi on Saturday.

Cheered by over 60,000 crowd at the Jawaharlal Stadium, Kerala, who barely scrapped through to the semifinals as the fourth-placed team in the league phase, turned the form book into its head to outplay the Chennai side.

Ishfaq Ahmed (27th minute), captain Iain Hume (29th) and Sushanth Mathew (90+4) got the goals for Kerala, with their team co-owner and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar watching the match at the stands.

Kerala, the least attacking side among the eight teams in the tournament with just nine goals from 14 league games,
found the target when it mattered the most. They relied on their defensive solidity in the initial few minutes before
their forwards delivered the goals.

Both teams started attacking from the word go but it was the home side who got the breakthrough with two quick goals.

Chennaiyin FC too had their chances in the first half but Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh lacked finesse in the finishing touch.

Sandy Nandi started at the Chennaiyin goal as manager-cum-goalie David James was banned from the sidelines in the last match. Tournament’s highest goal scorer Elano Blumer of Brazil returned for Chennaiyin after an injury break but he largely disappointed and was replaced by Bruno Pelissari in the 52nd minute.

The packed crowd at the stadium was brought onto their feet in the 26th minute when Jamie McAllister headed the ball home only to be ruled off-side.

But, the home supporters did not have to wait for long as in the next minute Ishfaq sent a rasping shot from inside the Chennaiyin box after being sent in the clear by Victor Herrero Forcada.

Two minutes later, Kerala doubled their lead with Hume’s first-time shot from a Stephen Pearson build-up found the
Chennaiyin net.

Chennaiyin pressed hard in the second session but Kerala defence stood tall and the home side added another goal through Mathew in the injury added time to emerge 3-0 winners.

The second leg of the semifinals will be played in Chennai on December 16.

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  1. J
    Jacob A.
    Dec 15, 2014 at 7:32 am
    With such an amazing crowd backing them, Kerala Blasters were just meant to ride the wave of victory. It was just a matter of time before the resurgent Blasters took advantage of their huge and inevitable home atmosphere. It would not be fair to say this, but to me, a resilient Chennaiyan side sucbed to the electric mob and were brought to their knees. It would be interesting to see how they would recoup and come at Kerala Blasters in the return leg, on account of their valiant home crowd ! #YellowMeinKhelo
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