Blasters turn it on against Goa

Kerala Blasters’ Ivan Kaliuzhnyi fires a 30-yard left-footer for his team’s third goal against FC Goa in their ISL match in Kochi on Sunday.
| Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Kerala Blasters pulled off a stunning 3-1 victory over FC Goa in the Indian Super League at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday, a victory that helped it climb from seventh to fifth in the table.

Goa, fourth in the table, was expected to be a tough opponent but it was Blasters who called the shots and produced three goals in the space of 10 minutes that left their opponent breathless. Two of these came towards the end of the first half.

Sahal Samad and Adrian Luna combined well and forced the Goa defence to sweat. Sahal proved to be a tricky customer, dodging past defenders often and breaking into the box with his sudden bursts of speed.

One such move saw him dance around a defender and send a neat cross from the left to Luna who just had to tap it in from close for the opening goal.

The Blasters added one more a couple of minutes later when forward Diamantokos was brought down by defender Anwar Ali inside the box. The Greek converted the penalty neatly.

The next goal, by Ivan Kaliuzhny, was a beauty. After receiving a pass from Diamantokos, the Ukrainian sent in a fiery 30-yard left-footed shot that gave the goalkeeper no chance.

The Blasters’ defence, often shaky this season, put in an improved performance, dismantling the Goa attacks a few times. Goa midfielder Noah tried to break in from the left towards the hour mark but he faced a Sandeep Singh wall. However, he scored Goa’s consolation goal with a header a few minutes later.

The result: Kerala Blasters 3 (Adrian Luna 42, Diamantakos 45-p, Ivan Kaliuzhny 52) bt FC Goa 1 (Noah Sadaoui 67).

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