Kerala Blasters recorded their first away victory in ISL 2016, at Fatorda Stadium against FC Goa, on Monday and their first in the last five matches. FC Goa had the psychological advantage in the game as they won their last match against FC Mumbai and the home crowd was hoping to see them claim a second consecutive win.

During the initial phase, fight for the possession of the ball was somewhat fierce as no team was able to hold the ball for a long time but, Kerala Blasters’ determination was seen in the 20th minute when they got the first chance to score the numero uno goal.

FC Goa was also not left behind as in the 24th minute, Richarlyson Barbosa’s cross from the left was duly received by Julio Cesar, whose header converted the pass into a goal and gave the home crowd a reason to cheer.

Kerala Blasters came very close to scoring an equaliser in the 35th minute when Mahtab’s free kick was somehow saved by Subhasish Roy by diving to the left-hand side of the post.

Kerala Players were possessed to claim their victory after facing defeat in their four previous matches and their hunger for a win was evident, as for the rest of the first half, Kerala attacked FC Goa’s defence to score an equaliser, but breaching Goa’s defence was not a walk in a park.

The first half ended with FC Goa leading the game with 1-0.

Fans were enjoying to the fullest in the break as the home team FC Goa went into halftime with a lead but, what the fans saw in the first 20 seconds of the second half was enough to break their hearts.

Kerala never gave FC Goa a chance to settle in the second half as Mohammed Rafi scored a goal on a Hengbart pass which was received by him exactly in the front of the goal post and there was pin drop silence in the crowd.

Kerala Blasters’ manager must have motivated his team at break time because what we saw in the second half was a sensational performance from the visitors. The ball never left FC Goa’s side of the stadium and the Blasters were blasting the ball towards Goa’s goalpost aggressively.

Kervens Belfort
Image Courtesy: ISL

It was the brilliance of Kervens Belfort that gave Kerala Blasters their leading goal in the 84th minute. Belfort breached Keenan Almeida’s defence, cut into the right foot and blasted the ball towards the goal post from 25 yards. It was such a godly strike that even FC Goa’s fans embraced the goal and Subhashish didn’t even try to block it.

FC Goa tried to score another one to equal the tally but Kerala Blasters made them taste their own medicine by defending their position in the rest of the match.

The referee whistled to end the game and Kerala Blasters won the match by 2-1 and FC Goa witnessed its fourth defeat of the season.

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25 October 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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