ISL 2020-21 Highlights, Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru FC: Kerala Blasters come from behind to beat Bengaluru FC 2-1. The Blues took the lead on the 24th minute of the match as Cleiton Silva scored with an acrobatic finish. Both the teams got chances to score but failed to make most of their chances. Then in the second half, substitute Lalthathanga Khawlhring scored the equaliser for KBFC on the 73rd minute of the match after the BFC defence failed to clear a ball after Gurpreet Singh Sandhu went down while saving a powerful shot from Gary Hooper. Then right at the death, Kerala Blasters got the decisive goal as Rahul KP slotted it past Gurpreet following a fast counter-attack. It was against the run of play as BFC almost scored in the other half of the field. With this win, Kerala topple SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League points table and remain level on points with Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC who have 13 points each but lead KBFC on the virtue of better goal difference.
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During a normal season, this fixture would have been one of the most heated clashes in the league due to the passionate rivalry between the two sets of fans. Whether it be at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi or the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, supporters of both sides would have thronged to the stands in numbers.
However, no fans will be present at the GMC Stadium, when the two sides take on each other. But the sheer importance of the fixture for two teams desperately trying to turn their season around means that match will not without on-field firework.
For Bengaluru the match will be about snapping a five-match winless run that saw them lose four games. Bengaluru interim coach Naushad Moosa, will also be counting on his team to improve at the back as they have not kept a clean sheet in eight games.
They have already conceded more in the league (16) than they did in the whole of last season. "There is a lot of positivity in the camp now," said Moosa.
"We got a good 5-6 days for training. We worked on what all things were not going our way. Hopefully, we'll play a better game tomorrow." Moosa will be without influential mid-fielder Dimas Delgado, who flew back to Spain due to a family emergency.
However, he was confident that Bengaluru had enough in the tank to cope without Delgado. "He was an important part of our team, no doubt about it," said Moosa. "But this is what football is all about. It is not that we don't have good players we have quality players."
On the other hand, Kerala will also be looking to put behind them the disappointment of conceding an injury-time equaliser to SC East Bengal.
This inability to hold leads has been a recurring feature of Kerala's season so far — they have lost ten points after scoring the first goal, the most by any team in the league. "Bengaluru FC are a good team, they have got good players," said Kerala coach Kibu Vicuna.
"The circumstances are different but we are preparing for the game as we do every game, and trying to improve the offensive part of the team and the strategic dimensions." Vicuna, though, has a number of issues to sort out.
His team has conceded the most goals (20) this season and the joint-most number of penalties (5). Only SCEB has conceded more goals than them in the second half.
"The team, I think, is performing better," said Vicuna. "We have to keep going, work better and harder every day and the team is going to be much better."