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Durand Cup: Kerala Blasters Beat NorthEast United 3-0 to Secure First Win

By: Sports Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 27, 2022, 20:38 IST

Guwahati [Gauhati], India

Durand Cup: Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United (Twitter)

Durand Cup: Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United (Twitter)

Muhammed Aimen scored a brace as Muhammed Ajsal netted the third to help Kerala Blasters beat NorthEast United 3-0 in the Durand Cup

Kerala Blasters secured their first win of the 131st Durand Cup, prevailing over NorthEast United 3–0, in a Group D game played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. This is the third consecutive loss for the Highlanders in the tournament and they are as good as out, with the Blasters still in with a slim chance, having picked up four points from their three games so far. Muhammed Aimen scored a brace for the winners while Muhammed Ajsal scored the third.

Kerala Blasters began by pressing high and showing far more energy in the field. They were stitching short passes in the midfield and keeping the NEUFC defence on their toes. Vibin Mohanan and Muhammed Azhar controlled the midfield for the Blasters as they started to create chances in the opponent’s half.

The first clear-cut chance came for the Blasters from a free-kick by Roshan Gigi, who found centre-back Tejas Krishna free in the box. The defender headed the ball over the net. Blasters found rhythm in their counterattacks and one such attack led to the first goal.

Muhammed Ajsal carried the ball through the left and found Gaurav Kankonkar on the edge of the box. His shot was blocked by the defender but the rebound fell to Muhammed Aimen, who slotted home.

The second half began with the Blasters in attack mode. Ajsal’s shot was saved by the NEUFC keeper. He and Gaurav Kankonkar were brilliant throughout the game, as they linked up well and created problems for the NEUFC defence.

The second goal came in the 55th minute through the wonderful link-up play between Gaurav, Ajsal and Azhar. Azhar it was in the end who found Ajsal on the edge of the box and the latter hit the top corner with his weaker right foot to double the advantage for Kerala.

Kerala Blasters continued to attack and kept creating chances. Gaurav and Ajsal missed quite a few opportunities to increase the lead.

The third goal came as late as the 90th minute when the brothers Azhar and Aimen combined. Azhar’s defence-splitting pass for Aimen saw the latter rounding the keeper to score his second of the game.

Kerala Blasters FC will face the Army Green Football Team next on August 31 and NorthEast United FC will meet Sudeva Delhi FC on September 02 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

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first published:August 27, 2022, 20:38 IST
last updated:August 27, 2022, 20:38 IST