The victory marked Kerala Blasters’ first full three points since the international breaks.
Kerala Blasters FC produced arguably their best performance of the season as they registered a comprehensive 3-0 victory over rivals Chennaiyin FC on Friday. A brace from Matej Poplatnik and a maiden Hero ISL goal from Sahal Abdul Samad inflicted the damage on Chennaiyin on the night. It was Kerala’s first home triumph in 384 days.
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Watch: Kerala Blasters 3-0 Chennaiyin FC highlights
A delighted Kerala head coach, Nelo Vingada, shared his thoughts at the post-match press conference. “First my words are for the players. For a long time, the team, the club, the city and especially the players deserved to have a day like today. It was a good game, we had good chances and we controlled the game. We could see that our team was very compact and showed good organisation. After the game against Bengaluru FC, the confidence was up. It was a night of happiness for me to see how the fans and the players were together at the end of the game,” he said, beaming with pride.
Asked if Kerala should have stopped the play before scoring the second goal when Christopher Herd went down, he replied, “Look, what I saw was that our midfielders got the ball and immediately started a very quick counter-attack and one of the Chennaiyin defenders was down. But our win was perfect and correct. We created more chances and we attacked more. So, let us see the positives of the game.”
Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory cut a disappointed figure at the presser as he lamented his side’s poor display on the night. “The performance sums up our season. We beat the team at the top of the league and then we go and lose to a team that is ninth in the table. We have had a lack of consistency with our performances. Last week was outstanding from everybody. Tonight, it was the opposite. It was a bad team display along with bad individual performances and Kerala took full advantage,” he noted.
Gregory also pointed at the lack of experience in the squad as a reason for the inconsistency from Chennaiyin. “Obviously, some of the young boys have only played a handful of Hero ISL games. Sometimes they play well one week and are disappointing in the next. They will learn from tonight’s performance, but it comes with a cost,” he said.