Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter
Kerala Blasters earned the first win of the season defeating Hyderabad FC at home.
Kerala Blasters defeated Hyderabad FC by 2-0 on Sunday at GMC Athletic Stadium in Goa. Goals from Abdul Hakku and Jordan Murray ensured Kerala Blasters' first win of the season.
The match begun with Kerala Blasters dominating in attack through high pressing with Sahal Abdul Samad had an early chance when he won the ball high up the pitch from Asish Rai in the 11th minute but Odei Onaindia was alert and prevented his shot at goal.
Nishu Kumar also tried his luck from outside the box few minutes later but his shot was not threatening enough to test the keeper.
In the 29th minute Abdul Hakku's bullet header off a corner found the back of the net as Kerala Blasters earned the lead.
Just before the halfway point, Yasir pass from a well worked build-up found Aridane Santana at the end of it but the striker missed the target from point blank range.
The Nizams tried to equalize but their efforts were not enough to get the better of Kerala defence as the scoreline remained in the favour of the hosts at the break.
In the second half Kerala continued to attack and had plenty of chances. Chances were between far and few for the Nizams. In the 86th minute, Halicharan Narzary, had a great chance when he had the sight of goal from inside the box but his shot went wide of target. They were then punished by the hosts in the 88th minute when a scramble inside the box led to Murray getting the ball coming off from Adil Khan, as the Aussie finished it first time to seal the win for the hosts.
Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna was elated that despite big names like Costa Nhamoinesu, Gary Hooper and Bakary Kone missing out on the encounter, the team won, "They have different injuries and they were not ready to play tonight. But I am very happy with the performances of Abdul Hakku, Sandeep (Singh) and Jordan (Murray). They played very well. I am satisfied because we played well against a team that is playing very well this season. We played a good match and we deserved to win tonight."
“We are happy because in the last 2-3 weeks, we are training better and we are seeing the results of these [training sessions]”, the coach added.
The coach further added that high pressing was an important factor in the game, "“It was important (to press high) because Hyderabad is a team that plays well from behind. We pressed well and created some difficulties for Hyderabad especially because they have good players playing from behind,” explained Vicuna.
He revealed what he said to his team at the break, “At the half time, we spoke about what we have to do, but we had to score the second goal because Hyderabad is a team that has good strikers and at the beginning of the second half, we had some good chances but we managed to score at the end of the game [in the 88th minute]. I think we deserved the win tonight.”
Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez was unhappy with the team's attitude on the pitch, "We lost because the players of Kerala Blasters FC played with better attitude. If the attitude of the players is [not up to the mark], it’s impossible to win. Especially in the opening minutes, they showed a better attitude than our team.
“We had very clear chances but only because of their attitude, they deserve to win. But this kind of thing happens in football …I am disappointed with the attitude of the players in the first 20-25 minutes,” said Marquez.