The Blues’ winless run in the 2020-21 ISL has now been extended to six matches.
In what was a body blow to Bengaluru FC’s Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs hopes, the Blues went down 2-1 to a late Rahul KP winner after the Steelmen took a 1-0 lead into half-time. A debatable equalizer from Puitea in the second half, which was scored when Blues custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was down, was a result of some sustained pressure from Kerala. Bengaluru interim coach Naushad Moosa was disappointed with the goal being allowed, but made no bones of pointing out that his side needed to defend better.
Kerala Blaters’ equalizer
“If you see the goals we conceded, you could see that Gurpreet was down and we thought that the referee would stop the game. But, the defence should have cleared the ball. The way they played, I am happy with the performance of the boys. They were compact and followed the instructions that were given to them,” said Moosa after the game.
Sunil Chhetri & Udanta Singh
The Blues showed intent right from the word go and were rewarded when Cleiton Silva volleyed them ahead in the 23rd minute. Sunil Chhetri was deployed centrally, as his team looked to exploit Kerala’s high line with pace from both himself and Udanta Singh. Moosa praised his talisman profusely.
“Sunil was an all-round presence today and was giving us everything in the 90 minutes. He was working for the team and was working as a leader. We thought playing him centrally would give us two men there with Udanta, as they play with a high line. The idea was to use Udanta’s speed and Sunil’s presence to catch them off guard. We were successful in doing that most of the time during the game,” praised the 49-year old.
He also pointed out that his team did not have luck with most of the chances created. “We could have scored more goals and created lot of scoring opportunities. If you see the second half, we hit the post and were making inroads. When Leon (Augustine) came on, we got more incision. I think towards the end we were unlucky,” rued the former Mahindra United man. “We were attacking and moved the ball around well. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to score.”
Midfielder Amay Morajkar received his first start of the season, as he filled in the giant shoes of influential Dimas Delgado who has returned to Spain for personal reasons.
“I wanted to give more youngsters time on the pitch. Amay played a wonderful game and the way he played today, he was very good with the ball,” signed off Moosa.