ISL: Kerala Blasters hold profligate Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw

ISL: Kerala Blasters hold profligate Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw
© Provided by The Times of India

Ashique Kuruniyan went from Bengaluru’s hero to villain in the space of four minutes as Kerala Blasters rallied to hold Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League at Bambolim, Goa, on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Kuruniyan gave BFC the lead in the 84th minute when his long-range effort went in, thanks to a horrible miss by Kerala goalkeeper Albino Gomes. But as Blasters pressed forward to find the equaliser, Kuruniyan slotted into his own net four minutes later while trying to clear a Marko Leskovic cross into the danger area.

Despite dominating for long periods, the Blues failed to pick all the three points and now have just four points from three matches. For Blasters, it was their second straight draw after losing to ATK in the opener. Former BFC player Harmanjot Singh Khabra came out in flying colours with assured tackles and timely interceptions. His all-round show for Blasters won him the player of the match award.

After a sedate first half, BFC attacked repeatedly but Brazilian striker Cleiton Silva failed to score. His best chance came in the 83rd minute but his powerful shot, off a Kuruniyan throw-in, smashed into Gomes. But just a minute later, the ’keeper fumbled and allowed the ball to bounce in.

The first half saw Bengaluru continuing their dominating ways after Blasters kicked off the proceedings but Chhetri’s men didn’t have anything to show for all their superiority as there was not a single shot to test the Blasters custodian.

Skipper Chhetri, who was substituted in the 63rd minute, failed to make an impact for the third straight game and his best chance came in the 26th minute when Udanta Singh sped down the right and pulled the ball back onto his skipper’s path. But Chhetri’s shot was smothered by Khabra.

Result: Bengaluru FC 1 (Ashique 84) drew with Kerala Blasters 1 (Ashique 88-OG).

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