Ayush Adhikari scored the solitary goal for the club in the competition.

Kerala Blasters achieved qualification to the Next Generation Cup 2022 after finishing second in the Reliance Foundation Developmental League. Along with Bengaluru FC, the club represented India in this youth tournament. Reserve sides of Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest, West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Stellenbosch FC also participated in the tournament.

The Blasters succumbed to defeats against Tottenham and Crystal Palace. In the first game, the Indian Super League outfit got outclassed by the North London Club 7-0. In the third place fixture, Palace defeated them 4-1. Despite not achieving desired results, the youngsters have surely learned a lot from their time in England.

Kerala Blasters vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham put seven goals past Kerala Blasters in the opening fixture. However, the scoreline does not do justice to the chances that the young Indians created, especially in the first half. A defence line of Muhammed Basith, Hormipam Ruivah, Bijoy Varghese, and Aritra Das kept the Spurs attack in check in the early stages.

Varghese was dangerous in attack as well, registering a shot and a strong header from two corners. The Tuskers’ defence held on till the half-hour mark. The North London club finally found their breakthrough in the 31st minute when they tucked in a rebound after a brilliant tackle from Basith. After the first goal, the floodgates opened and Kerala gradually lost control over the game.

Kerala Blasters vs Crystal Palace

The game against the Eagles was a less frenzied affair as the Eagles slowly made their way to a 4-1 victory. After going 2-0 up, Kerala’s skipper Ayush Adhikari slotted in a penalty in the 52nd minute to score their only goal in the tournament.

The Palace players, with better technical ability, kept possession for long periods and forced some good saves from Sachin Suresh, who stood under the bar for Blasters. Hormipam Ruivah found himself in a dangerous position in the dying minutes of the game but he blazed his shot over the bar. As a result of their performance, Kerala Blasters were praised by Crystal Palace’s academy coach, Rob Quinn.

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