The win took the defending champions to the second position after five games.

Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC beat Kerala Blasters by a lone Sunil Chhetri header to take home their second three points of the tournament so far. Although Kerala had multiple chances to open the scoring in the first half, they were unable to find a clinical touch in front of goal.

Sunil Chhetri, rather characteristically, opened the scoring for the Blues with a sensational diving header from a set-piece. Some excellent work from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the final moments ensured that Cuadrat’s men moved up to second place on the ISL table.

Bengaluru FC

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 7.5

Made multiple game-defining saves over the course of the tie, came out and cleared satisfactorily whenever he was called into action by the Blasters attack.

Harmanjot Khabra – 7

The versatile midfielder was operating out of the right-back role in Rahul Bheke’s absence today and put in quite possibly his best display of the campaign so far.

Nishu Kumar – 7

He constantly switched positions with Ashique Kuruniyan on the left flank and was just as good going forward as he was tracking back, covering his man in the defensive third.

Udanta Singh – 6.5

The Bengaluru speedster wasn’t at his best today as his lingering final delivery issues were on show again. He could’ve done better with his decision making in the final third as well.

Sunil Chhetri – 8

The skipper was a constant nuisance on the Kerala back-line and he took his goal with great aplomb as well. Superbly lost his marker from a set-piece and scored with a brilliant diving header.

Ashique Kuruniyan – 7

The winger was seen often switching between left-wing and left-back but put in a real shift down the flank. His work-rate was exemplary as he marched forward whenever possible as well.

Substitutes

Semboi Haokip – 6

Struggled to make an impact after coming on as the central-striker. Did well to pass the seconds as the Blues saw out the win.

Edmund Lalrindika – NA

Didn’t have the time to make a real impact.


Match Highlights: Bengaluru FC 1-0 Kerala Blasters


Kerala Blasters

TP Rehenesh – 6

The Blasters’ native goalkeeper had a largely untroubled night in between the sticks. He was helpless with the goal that the Blues eventually scored in the second half.

Mohammad Rakip – 5

Although the right-back put in a massive shift down the flank trying to stop the advances of both Ashique Kuruniyan and Nishu Kumar. Eventually began to get overrun.

Raju Gaikwad – 6

An uncharacteristically assured display at the back by the Kerala centre-half, largely because the Blues didn’t seem to be in the best form. Began to struggle in the later stages though.

Abdul Hakku – 6

Like his partner in the middle of the park, the defender wasn’t required to overly exert himself on the night but had a much tougher time once the Blues began to pull the strings.

Jessel Carneiro – 6

The full-back made a couple of exciting runs forward in the first half but was unable to have any real impact in the second period, thanks to excellent Bengaluru defending.

Rahul KP – 7

Undoubtedly the Blasters’ best player on the pitch tonight, the youngster made some excellent forward runs and tried to get his team back into the fixture as well.

Prashant Karuthedathkuni – 5.5

The Kerala-native struggled to create attacking momentum in the first half and seemed to vanish into the flow of the game even more as the second period got underway.

Jeakson Singh – 5.5

Like his midfield partner, the youngster wasn’t able to influence the tie to any stretch of the imagination and was often seen aimlessly loitering the pitch.

Substitutes

Sahal Abdul Samad – 7

Made a couple of typical mazy runs after coming on in the second half and got himself booked for a silly foul in Bengaluru’s final third.

Mohammed Rafi – NA

Came on to try and have an attacking impact, but unfortunately was stretchered off in the final minutes.