Kerala Blasters kickoff their Durand Cup debut campaign with a 1-0 win over Indian Navy in Group C. Adrian Luna scored his first goal with the Indian Super League club, which turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
As a result, the Navy have now one loss and a win in their two matches. They would be facing Bengaluru FC in their final fixture on 21st September. Whereas, Kerala have two games in hand against Bengaluru and Sudeva Delhi FC up next.
Rock solid defensive display ensures Kerala Blasters all three points against Indian Navy in the Durand Cup
Kerala Blasters had a decent pre-season friendly campaign against Kerala United and Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council. Thus, new recruits Adrian Luna and Enes Sipovic had some playing time on the Indian soil.
Blasters are the second ISL side in the competition alongside FC Goa to name their strongest squad including all four foreigners and their key first-team regulars. Luna and Sipovic started the match and Jessel was a better captain as compared to last season.
The Yellow Brigade were much calmer and were focusing on keeping possession rather than multiple attacks. However, the first half was full of chances for both sides and the defence was at the highest level.
It was a cagey affair in the first half as both sides failed to score despite getting multiple chances. However, Blasters were the better side and the rock-solid defence was doing well. In the offensive department, Adrian Luna and Prashant were combining well but were unsuccessful.
But, the breakthrough did come as Luna broke the deadlock through a well-taken penalty. Sreekuttan, one of the emerging talents, was brought down inside the penalty box after an unnecessary tackle. Additionally, Enes Sipovic had a good match denying many goals with some brilliant defending.
All eyes would now be on the Southern Derby between Blasters and Bengaluru FC on 15th September. However, the attack needs to be more strong and Chencho Gyeltshen might be having his debut in the upcoming derby match.
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