ISL: Kerala Blasters edge past 10-man NorthEast United for first league win

first_imgKerala Blasters earned their first win of Indian Super League 2017-18 with a slender 1-0 win over 10-man NorthEast United at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday.Kerala’s star CK Vineeth scored the solitary goal of the match upon his return from suspension.Courtesy Vineeth’s heroics, Kerala maintained their record of staying unbeaten to NorthEast United in the four years of the ISL.The hosts were in an advantageous position for the entire second session as NorthEast goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh was sent off with a straight red card in the 43rd minute.NorthEast could never recover from that blow, although they could not be faulted for lack of [email protected]’s diving header gave @KeralaBlasters their maiden win of the #HeroISL season over 10-man @NEUtdFC!More videos: #KERNEU #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 15, 2017Although Vineeth got the goal that mattered, the hero of the match was debutant Wes Brown. The former Manchester United defender played his first match for Kerala Blasters and showed what they were missing all along. His solid performance in front of the back four was the key to Kerala’s first win this season.It was NorthEast though who started stronger and with some good fortune could have even taken the lead. Striker Marcinho was a constant threat for the visitors and struck a good understanding with Martin Diaz.Kerala calmed nerves for the hosts in the 24th minute with a gem of a strike from star man Vineeth. Captain Sandesh Jhingan released Rino Anto on the right with a long ball and Anto, with plenty of space ahead of him, made a superb run forward. He then played an inch-perfect cross inside the NorthEast goalmouth where Vineeth stunned everyone with a flying header.advertisementThe two local boys – @rinoanto and @ckvineeth – combine to give @KeralaBlasters the advantage!#LetsFootball #KERNEU Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 15, 2017There was a way back for the visitors but they needed to keep calm. In the 43rd minute, the match took a dramatic turn when Rehenesh was red-carded. From a quick counter-attack, the inspirational Courage Pekuson picked out Mark Sifneos with a through ball and goalkeeper Rehenesh mistimed his jump, catching Sifneos’s legs, instead of the [email protected]’s Rehenesh TP came off his line, took down Sifneos and was brandished the red card! But did he deserve it?Watch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #KERNEU #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 15, 2017Once the referee flashed the red card at Rehenesh, they were left with a mountain to climb. With the numerical advantage, Kerala always enjoyed the upper hand and it was the upright that thwarted them in the 57th minute when Lalruatthara’s close range shot seemed good enough for the second goal.Lalruatthara off the post!Watch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #KERNEU #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 15, 2017NorthEast had to rely mostly on counter attacks and they came close to securing an unlikely equaliser with just three minutes left to be played. A corner-kick from substitute Odair Fortes saw Danilo Lopes rise high to head, but the ball sailed agonisingly wide with nobody on hand to tap it him.Danilo with a glancing header, almost leveled the scoreline!Watch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #KERNEU #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 15, 2017The final minutes of the match saw Kerala Blasters clearing off the ball to maintain their lead and NorthEast United pushing hard for an equaliser but their efforts going in vain.(Courtesy: IANS)Amazing! The captain of the @KeralaBlasters @SandeshJhingan calls his entire team to celebrate with the fans with a thunderous Viking Clap!#LetsFootball #KERNEU #HeroISL Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 15, 2017last_img read more