Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of this evening's Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters FC Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) clash played at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa. This was Aneesh Dey bringing you updates from the match.
That's all for today. Thanks for tuning in. We will see you tomorrow when NorthEast United FC takes on Chennaiyin FC at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda. Goodnight and take care.
Have a look at how the teams stand: Updated points table!!
Hero of the Match, Harmanjot Khabra: "I was very excited and everybody in my family was waiting for me to play against BFC. It was a very exciting game for me. I think we could have done a little bit better and the result could have been different. But we showed positivity and we need to be united as a team. We are having a good kind of atmosphere in the dressing room. This is very important for this ISL."
Kerala Blasters coach Ivan Vukomanovic: "It was an interesting game. We wanted to be compact, be strong in duels. We were not happy because we conceded the goal but in football, many interesting things happen and in the end, we were happy to get the equaliser. Today we will go home with 1 point and continue to build on the training ground."
Vukomanovic On Albino's howler: "These kinds of things happen. There is only one way to get back from this and that is hard work. We really believe in our guys."
Bengaluru FC coach Marco Pezzaiuoli: "I am not really happy because when you want to score in the 85th minute you want to win. We played against a team which played very defensive. We played good with the ball but in the end, did not create enough chances... I think we dominated the game. We got the ball early and pressed really high."
FULL-TIME!! (BENGALURU FC 1-1 KERALA BLASTERS FC)
90+3' KBFC SUBS- Chencho and Ayush Adhikari replace Luna and Lalthathanga.
90+2' Gurpreet comes off his line and clears the ball. It is not the strongest of clearances and the ball ends up with Nishu Kumar. A better control could have allowed him to lob Gurpreet from the halfway line but his first touch takes the ball away from him. BFC clears.
FIVE ADDITIONAL MINUTES!!
89' KBFC BOOKING- Harmanjot Khabra shown a yellow.
88' GOOOOOOOAAL!!! GOALSCORER ASHIQUE SCORES AN OWN GOAL!! KERALA EQUALISES!! What drama we are having at the closing stages of the game. Ashique attempts to clear the ball from a KBFC cross but ends up putting it inside his own net.
85' GOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!!!! BENGALURU FC SCORES!! ITS A HOWLER BY ALBINO!! Minutes after a brilliant save, Albino has conceded a howler. Ashique gets his shot away from the right side of the box. It looked a simple enough save but the ball slips under the keeper and creeps inside the goal.
83' SAVE- Point-blank save by Albino. A long throw by Ashique leads to a flick on. Cleiton gets to the ball first and slams a shot at Albino but the KBFC keeper shows his reflex and tips it away.
81' SHOT- Ibara makes some space for himself in the left flank and shoots straight at Albino. the angle was unlikely but good save nonetheless.
80' Possession Stat- Bengaluru dominating the ball like most of the match. BFC- 67% KBFC- 39%.
Match halts for a drinks break!!
76' BFC SUB- Siva Narayanan replaces Udanta. A player of promise.
74' Cleiton delivers a good ball inside the box from a freekick. Ibara was the intended target but KBFC clears.
70' KBFC SUB- Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Nishu Kumar replace Vazquez and Sahal.
67' Judging by the looks of it, the match might find a winner by the odd goal or a moment of magic. Both teams have shown intent but no clear-cut chances created by either team in the second half.
65' KBFC SUB- Prasanth Karuthadathkuni replaces Vincy.
62' BFC SUBS- Prince Ibara and Danish Farooq replace Sunil chhetri and Iman Basafa.
60' The game has opened up a bit- it was all BFC at the start of the second half but KBFC creating some chances of its own as the half progresses.
57' SHOT- A great ball from Cleiton Silva finds Udanta. The Indian traps the ball and takes a shot after a couple of touches but it is not on target.
55' Luna floats the ball inside the box. An acrobatic effort leads to a shot but Gurpreet catches it easily. Leskovic jhas injured himself in the proceedings of the freekick but looks okay to continue.
54' It has been all BFC in the second half but KBFC with a good chance to break the deadlock as the Tuskers have a freekick in a good position.
50' SHOT- Its Cleiton again. This time, it was good link-up play by BFC. Chhetri passed the ball to Udanta, who set up Cleiton for the shot. Cleiton connected well but the shot had too much power and the ball goes out of play.
49' SHOT- Cleiton takes a shot on the turn from the edge of KBFC's box but it's weak and off-target. The ball rolls out of play.
46' No half-time changes to report by either team.
WE ARE BACK FOR THE SECOND HALF!!
Bengaluru FC had the lion's share of possession and dictated large parts of the opening half but hasn't been able to convert its chances. Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, had a couple of chances but has not registered a shot on target yet. Vincy has been a livewire in midfield for Blasters, while Udanta has been particularly sharp for Bengaluru. An enticing second half awaits!
HALF-TIME! No goals in the first half here in Bambolim as both sides head into the interval locked at 0-0.
45+3' A fine passage of play from the Blasters - Vazquez's shot takes a deflection and falls for Luna, who plays a cheeky backheel for Sahal in the box. Sahal outwits his marker and drills a low cross, but it's an easy save for Gurpreet.
44' Puitea lets one rip from distance, but Pratik gets in the way to block the strike. Kerala Blasters has not had a shot on target yet. Four minutes of added time to be played.
40' Luna threads a lovely ball in for Vincy and the youngster does really well to keep it in but can't produce much out of it.
38' It's a set-piece routine straight out of the training ground for the Blasters. A couple of short passes are worked around and Vazquez knocks it towards Vincy, but there's a tad too much of power on that pass.
36' Bengaluru has created a few decent chances but hasn't really been able to trouble the goalkeeper just yet. The Kerala back-line has held on remarkably well so far.
34' Match halts for a drinks break!!
32' Good pressure by the Blasters to peg Bengaluru players in the final third. However, Pezzaiuoli's men maintain their defensive shape and dissipate the pressure by switching the play to a free Naorem on the right flank.
29' Naorem goes in hard at Luna, who had the ball. That was a painful one but does not look serious. Play resumes.
25' Udanta Singh showing his pace to reach the ball from an overhit pass. He delivers a cross inside the box and Sunil Chhetri was waiting to pounce on it. Khabra does well to prevent Chhetri from getting a decent contact.
23' Brilliant work from Sahal on the left flank- He gets away from Roshan, cuts back and whips a cross across goal. Unfortunately, no KBFC player could get a touch.
22' BOOKING- BFC's Pratik gets booked for his late challenge on Luna.
21' Both players are okay to continue and play has resumed.
18' A clash of heads between Sipovic and Costa from the corner- Sipovic has come off worse in the clash, which evident by his bleeding near the eye. Play has halted for medical attention for both players.
17' KBFC concedes a cheap corner. Khabra heads the ball back to Albino, who does not manage to keep the ball in play.
15' Possession Stat: BFC dominating ball possession after 15 minutes. BFC- 74% KBFC- 26%.
12' BFC's full-backs are overlapping well every time the Blues initiate an attacking move against the Tuskers.
9' A well-worked one-two by Luna and Vincy. Luna lofts a measured ball towards a darting Vincy but Gurpreet comes off his line and gets the ball before the youngster can get a touch.
8' SHOT- KBFC's Luna did well to get away from a couple of BFC players. However, his subsequent shot was not up to the mark as it swings away from goal, out of play.
6' A good start to the game. Neither teams has found its rhythm though.
4' SHOT- BFC's Cleiton makes some space for himself and dispatches a long distance shot. Albino catches it without much fuss. It was straight at him and at a comfortable height.
2' SHOT- Early break by KBFC as Jeakson makes a surging run from his own half. He shoots from the edge of BFC's box but it is not on target.
7:30 PM- AND WE ARE UNDERWAY!!
7:15 PM- Key players!!
Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC): Bengaluru Fc skipper Sunil Chhetei has had a slow start to the season but given his impressive goalscoring record against the Kerala Blasters, this might be the match where Chhetri finds his form.
Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters FC): Adrian Luna has been impressive for the Tuskers so far. With 12 crosses and assist to his name, he has been pivotal in creating chances for his team.
7:00 PM- STAT: Super Sunil!!
The Indian national team skipper has the highest number of goals in this fixture, with five strikes to his name. In the last five matches against the Tuskers, Chhetri has found the net in three of those occasions.
6:45 PM- Listen in to our season preview on a new episode of The Full Time Show:
6:40 PM- OFFICIAL LINEUPS ARE OUT!!
Bengaluru FC Playing XI: Gurpreet Sandhu (GK), Pratik Chowdhary, Alan Costa, Ashique Kuruniyan, Roshan Naorem, Bruno Silva, Suresh Wangjam, Iman Basafa, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva and Sunil Chhetri (C).
Subs: Sharon, Sarthak, Muirang, Danish, Ajay, Lyngdoh, Edmund, Siva, Prince
Coach: Marco Pezzaiuoli
Kerala Blasters Playing XI: Albino Gomes (GK), Enes Sipovic, Jessel Carneiro (C), Marko Leskovic, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Harmanjot Khabra, Sahal Samad, Adrian Luna, Jeakson Singh, Vincy Barretto, Alvaro Vazquez.
Subs: Gill (GK), Sandeep, Ruivah, Nishu, Stalin, Ayush, Prasanth, Jorge Diaz, Chencho
Coach: Ivan Vukomanovic
6:15 PM- Highlights from what happened when both teams met the last time.
6:00 PM- Here is how we think the two teams will lineup today!!
Bengaluru FC Starting XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Alan Costa, Bruno Ramires, Jayesh Rane, Suresh Singh, Prince Ibara, Sunil Chhetri (C), Udanta Singh, Muhammed Ashique, Musavu King, Naorem Roshan Singh
Kerala Blasters FC Predicted XI: Albino Gomes, Sandeep Singh, Marko Leskovic, Jessel Carneiro (C), Jeakson Singh, Harmanjot Khabra, Adrian Luna, Sahal Abdul Samad, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Alvaro Vazquez
5:45 PM- Missed Sunday's double-header? We've got you covered with our ISL match reviews. Here's a recap of the SCEB vs ATKMB and MCFC vs HFC fixtures.
Kerala Blasters will be desperate for its first win of the 2021-22 Indian Super League campaign while Bengaluru FC will look to steady things after a stuttering start when the two sides meet at the Bambolim Stadium on Sunday.
Blasters, who opened with a 2-4 defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan, looked set to secure its first victory when it played NorthEast United FC, but ended up with a goalless draw because of its profligacy in front of goal.
BFC, after a positive start against NEUFC, was beaten 3-1 by Odisha FC in its last game, giving coach Marco Pezzaiuoli a reality check. Not just that, BFC will miss the services of Jayesh Rane, a bright spot for the club since his arrival in late July, owing to the concussion he suffered against Odisha.
Pezzaiuoli, though, insisted that his team was on the right track. “Our second game was still good,” he said. “Our group defence was good. There were just individual mistakes.”
“We dominated the match and played better with the ball than we did against NorthEast. We had 60 per cent possession but we need to arrive behind the opponent backline faster and create more chances,” he added.
For the Blasters, converting chances and not creating, has proved the Achilles heel. Argentinian forward Jorge Pereyra Diaz and midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad both missed gilt-edged chances to score against NEUFC. Rahul K.P, who scored in both matches against BFC last season, will be sorely missed.
But midfielder Adrian Luna has impressed in a creative role, triggering belief that good times are indeed round the corner.
“We are very positive in the dressing room,” said Harmanjot Khabra, formerly of BFC, now with Blasters. “I feel like there is nothing that has changed as to what I have been faced with in other dressing rooms. So, everything is good [and] all the players are in good mood and they know their responsibilities.”
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