2021-22 Indian Super League, Regular Season
  • Cleiton Silva (20')
  • Igor Angulo (9' PEN)
  • Mourtada Fall (54')
  • Igor Catatau (85')

ISL 2021-22: Vazquez, Prasanth seal win for dominant Kerala Blasters vs Odisha

Odisha keeper Kamaljit Singh looks on as Kerala Blasters' Alvaro Vazquez rounds him and scores. Sandeep Shetty/Focus Sports/ ISL

Kerala Blasters registered their first win of the season as they beat Odisha FC 2-1 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Sunday.

Alvaro Vazquez (62nd) and substitute Prasanth Karuthadathkuni (85th) scored second-half goals to hand the Blasters their first victory in 11 months. Blasters' Adrian Luna was brilliant throughout the game and was instrumental in both the goals.

For Odisha, Nikhil Raj -- in for Javi Hernandez -- pulled one back in second-half stoppage time.

Courtesy the result, Kerala rise to sixth in the points table with five points from four games. Odisha, meanwhile, remain on third having six points from three outings.

Kerala boss Ivan Vukomanovic went for a 4-4-2 formation while Odisha counterpart Kiko Ramirez opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Kerala started on the front foot, Sahal Abdul Samad hitting the target early on, but not troubling Kamaljit Singh in the Odisha goal. Minutes later, skipper Jessel Carneiro swung in a delightful ball into the box which was cleared for a corner.

Adrian Luna tried his luck from a free kick in the seventh minute, forcing Kamaljit to dive to his left and deny the Uruguayan. Odisha got their first real chance in the 12th minute when Aridai Cabrera bombed down the left flank and set Javi Hernandez up, but the Spaniard's effort flew over the bar.

The Blasters continued to have the upper hand as Thoiba Singh was booked for a challenge on Luna. Against the run of play, Javi almost scored with a long-range effort after spotting Albino Gomes standing well outside his line.

Moments after the water break, Vincy Barreto was marginally offside after being through on goal.

For Odisha, who were pegged back by Kerala, full back Hendry Antonay attempted an audacious long-ranger which dipped at the top right corner but Albino was on hand to parry the ball over the bar.

At halftime, both teams were level but the Blasters had dominated.

The second half started in the same vein with the Blasters on the front foot. Sahal looked in great touch from the off, dancing his way past defenders inside the box only to be thwarted, but the ball fell kindly for Luna whose effort went wide of the bar.

Luna was in the thick of things again just after the hour mark, and this time his through ball found Vazquez who timed his run to perfection. The Spaniard ran 30 yards, rounded the keeper and put the ball in the back of the net.

Three minutes after the goal, Kerala replaced Barretto with Nishu Kumar while Odisha threw in Gaurav Bora for Thoiba.

Vazquez could have doubled his and the team's tally in the 67th minute after being set up beautifully by Sahal, but his low effort was blocked by Kamaljit.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia replaced Jerry Mawihmingthanga as Odisha looked for an equaliser.

Kerala suffered a setback when Albino went down after taking the goal kick and had to be taken off. India U-23 custodian Prabhsukhan Gill replaced him as Sahal also went off after a stellar show, with Prasanth Karuthadathkuni replacing the national team midfielder.

Midfielder Prasanth's goal came five minutes to the final whistle when he swept yet another perfectly weighed Luna ball through the legs of the keeper after a lovely run.

Raj scored a late goal for Odisha but it did not matter in the end.