Life without midfield magician Adrian Luna is turning out to be tough for Kerala Blasters. The spark was missing as the Blasters went down to Punjab FC 1-3 in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Monday, with the visitor’s Colombian forward scoring two of those goals.
It was only Punjab’s third win this season and saw it climb from 11th to ninth spot in the 12-team table while the Blasters remain third.
AS IT HAPPENED: Kerala Blasters vs Punjab FC Highlights
Despite dominating the league early on this season, coach Ivan Vukomanovic had warned that Punjab would be a tough opponent but none expected the match to end as it did.
Strangely, the stadium was not even half full, probably the fans missed their most popular player Luna and the deafening roar, which usually sends rivals into a shell, was missing.
That worked in Punjab’s favour.
Though Blasters dominated a major part of the opening half and even took the lead in the 39th minute through its defender Milos Drincic, whose left-footed shot appeared to bounce inside the line, Punjab fought back and, after gaining the lead, choked the home side with a strong defence.
Jordan side-stepped defender Pritam Kotal smartly for the equaliser shortly before the break after receiving a long pass from Madih Talal and later, made the most of a deflection from goalkeeper Sachin Suresh to give Punjab the lead with a header around the hour mark.
Just before full-time, Luka Majcen added one more off a penalty for a Blasters handball.
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