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Brown winner hands Blasters lifeline in playoffs race

Published at :February 17, 2018 at 10:54 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Khel Now

The defender scored the only goal of the game against NorthEast United.

Kerala Blasters FC are still breathing in the Hero Indian Super League after notching a tough 1-0 victory over NorthEast United FC at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, on Saturday.

Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown scored his first goal in the ISL and his fantastic header in the 28th minute was enough for Kerala Blasters to walk away with full points. The three crucial points took their tally to 24 from 16 matches and helped move close to the play-off spots. With two matches still left to be played, Kerala will know they have a chance if one of the teams above slip-up.

Watch: NorthEast United 0-1 Kerala Blasters

NorthEast United’s disappointing campaign continued and they are just above Delhi Dynamos FC at the bottom of the table.

Former Chelsea FC manager Avram Grant will be disappointed that he has not been able to turn around NorthEast’s fortunes, the way David James, who played under him at Portsmouth in 2010, has done with Kerala Blasters.  The Blasters have now won three of their last four matches and drawn one.

This one was straightforward with Kerala Blasters getting a goal in the first-half and then sitting down to defend. NorthEast United were once again left disappointed as they had the majority of the ball and had more shots on goal but nothing to show in the end.

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The only goal of the match came in the 28th minute through a corner-kick. Jackichand Singh floated a ball inside the goalmouth and Brown showed he still has it in him as he escaped the home team defenders and then finished with a powerful header.

The goal was reward for Kerala Blasters who had come close to scoring in the 20th minute. Jackichand was the one who created the confusion in defence when he floated a ball which Nirmal Chhetri tried to clear. The ball simply travelled towards his own goal where goalkeeper TP Rehenesh leaped and palmed it on his own crossbar. Fortunately for the hosts, CK Vineeth failed to connect the rebound.

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The home team’s attacks were not strong enough, although they did test the rival goalkeeper. Maic Sema, Lalrindika Ralte and Cezario all had good chances to secure the equaliser but they fell short in front of goal.

In the second session, NorthEast continued to have more of the ball and should have had the equaliser simply for Lalrindika’s stunning effort. He collected a ball just outside the box, made space and tried to pick the top corner of the goal. He went close as the ball hit the crossbar and rebounded back into play. The ball fell at his feet again, prompting him to try his luck again but could not generate the same power with his weaker right foot.