<
>

ISL 2020-21: Bengaluru FC find their groove against sloppy Kerala Blasters

Dimas Delgado celebrates after scoring Bengaluru's third goal Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for ISL

Bengaluru FC beat Kerala Blasters 4-2 in a match that was decided by a second-half flurry of goals from BFC and some shambolic defending from Kerala.

The game started at a good pace, with Bengaluru threatening on set pieces and Kerala in turn breaking with intent. That was how the scoring began, with Gary Hooper intercepting a slack set piece and racing up the field. With numbers on his side, he looked up and calmly teed up Rahul KP who lashed a powerful shot inside Gurpreet Sandhu's near post.

ISL home | Fixtures | Scores | Table | Stats | Transfers

A minute before the half-hour mark, though, Kerala's good work was undone with the first defensive mishap of the night. Kerala's makeshift centre-back Lalruatthara touched a Sandhu goal kick into the path of Cleiton Silva, and Silva made no mistake with a first time volley.

The two sides exchanged more attacks in an open game, but went into the halftime break at 1-1.

Then, the collapse began.

Bakary Kone was pulled up for a trip on Kristian Opseth in the Kerala box, but wasn't punished as Sunil Chhetri panenka'd the ball straight into a waiting Albino Gomes' hands. A minute later, though, they were ahead. Opseth turned in a clever Ashique Kuruniyan ball into the box from inside the six-yard box, the Kerala defence nowhere near him (or the two others waiting for Ashique's cross next to him).

In the 53rd minute, they made it 3-1 after Gomes' weak goal kick was pounced on by Silva. Dimas Delgado ran onto his cutback and smacked it into the top corner.

- Indian Super League: Stream LIVE on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

Kerala, stunned by the two quick goals, went on the front foot immediately and pulled a goal back a minute after the hour mark. A freekick from the middle of the Bengaluru half was headed goalwards by Facundo Pereyra, and touched into the net by Jordan Murray, who looked to be well offside. The referees, though, allowed the goal to stand.

But Bengaluru killed off any hopes of a fight back with a stunning fourth in the 65th minute. Harmanjot Khabra swung in a delightful ball; Chhetri outjumped Prasanth K at the far post and thundered a header across and into the top corner.

Kerala continued to pile men forward, but the Bengaluru defence - the best in the league last season - held firm.

Bengaluru are now fourth with nine points in five, while Kerala languish in ninth with 2 points in five - and are now on a three game losing streak. They face fellow strugglers SC East Bengal next in a week's time. Bengaluru, meanwhile, will play Jamshedpur on the 17th.