End a six-match winless streak
Kerala Blasters’ wait is finally over after the Kochi team posted its first win of the Indian Super League season at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim (Goa), on Sunday night, at the expense of Hyderabad FC. The 2-0 victory marked the end of an agonising streak of six matches without a win. Central defender Abdul Hakku and Australian striker Jordan Murray were the scorers.
Hakku, starting a game for the first time this season, and Murray were two of the five changes effected by coach Kibu Vicuna, as Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh and Sandeep Singh also marched on to the field in a new-look Blasters team. Blasters has doubled its tally to six points, while Hyderabad is on nine.
Though it was Hyderabad that threatened more in the early part, winning a corner in the eighth minute, the rebuilt Blasters’ defence stood firm. Hakku, put his team ahead with a superb header off a well-taken corner-kick by Facundo Pereyra. The Hyderabad players, though, believed there shouldn’t have been a corner-kick at all, as they seemed to point out to the referee that the ball had gone off the head off Blasters’ Vicente Gomez.
Hyderabad had opportunities to equalise in the opening half, including one in the 45th minute, when its leading scorer of the season, Aridane Santana, was put through by Mohammed Yasir at the end of a lovely move that beat the Kerala defence. The Spanish striker, though, failed to provide the finishing touch.
The second half opened with Blasters creating several chances, but it had to wait for a long time for its second goal, which came off a fine move down the left by Rohit Kumar.
The result: Kerala Blasters 2 (Abdul Hakku 29, Jordan Murray 88) bt Hyderabad FC 0.
Bengaluru FC vs Jamshedpur FC, 7.30 p.m.
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