Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of this evening's Kerala Blasters FC vs Chennaiyin FC Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) clash played at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa.
That is all for today. Thanks for tuning in. We will meet you tomorrow when ATK Mohun Bagan plays Bengaluru FC . Goodnight and take care.
Updated points table:
Full time! (Kerala Blasters FC 3-0 Chennaiyin FC)
90+4' A minute left in the match and Chennaiyin FC still doesn't have a shot on target. It has been a disappointing night for the Marina Machans.
90+2' It has been an inspiring performance by KBFC in the second half. After a goalless first half, the Men in Yellow knew that they needed goals to keep the semis dream alive and that is exactly what they did.
Five added minutes!
90' GOOOALL! KBFC gets its third! It is Luna from a freekick! The ball took a wicket deflection as Luna took the shot, which completely wrong-footed Kaith. But Luna will take that as Kerala scores its third.
90' KBFC Sub: In: Enes Sipovic Out: Alvaro Vazquez.
87' Shot- Vazquez takes a shot from distance but it is blocked. He has shown that he is more than capable of scoring a screamer or two.
83' KBFC strings a great move to open the CFC defence. Sahal sets it up for Chencho on a plate but Narayan Das puts in a great challenge to take the ball away from Chencho before he could pull the trigger.
81' Sandeep with a low-driven cross into the CFC box from the left. But Rahim Ali does well to clear the ball.
78' KBFC Subs: In: Chencho Gyeltshen and Rahul KP Out: Jorge Diaz and Ayush Adhikari.
77'CFC Subs: In: Nerijus Valskis and Reagan Singh Out: Lukasz Gikiewicz and Anirudh Thapa.
75' CFC booking- Rahim Ali becomes the latest player to see yellow.
72' CFC Sub: In: Sandeep Singh Out: Sanjeev Stalin.
72' Shot- It is a good shot by Murzaev from a CFC freekick. The ball dipped well and looked like it was going in for a minute. Gill most probably had it covered.
70' KBFC booking- Puitea shown a yellow card.
68' Kaith with a loose pass as he tries to clear the ball. Kerala gets the ball and Vazquez takes a shot from distance. The shot had sting but is blocked well.
64' Chennaiyin trying to find an opening in the Kerala defence by playing balls behind their backline but Ivan Vukomanovic's men have been disciplined till now.
61' CFC Sub: In: Suhail Pasha Out: Germanpreet Singh.
61' Free-kick for Chennai on the left side inside Kerala's half.
60' Vazquez's freekick clips the wall and flies over the bar for a corner.
58' Freekick for Kerala outside the Chennai box. Vasquez lines it up.
55' GOAAAL! Kerala 2-0 Chennaiyin! It's Diaz again! A manic spell of end-to-end football! It's another long ball, this time by Leskovic and Vazquez brings it down with a touch onto the run of Stalin, who jinks his way before smashing the ball onto the crossbar. Diaz gets to the looseball and heads it into the ground and the ball ricochets off Jerry and bundles into the net.
53' Chennaiyin responds immediately with Murzaev's shot blocked by Leskovic before Devrani's header from a free-kick going wide.
52' GOAL! Kerala 1-0 Chennaiyin! Pereyra Diaz slots Kerala in the lead and his side's sustained pressure pays off! Khabra with a long ball to the edge of the area where Luna jumps high to flick it into the box. Diaz gets ahead of Deepak to nod the ball past the onrushing 'keeper.
49' Superb first-time flick of the ball by Luna into Stalin's run on the left and the left-back finds Vasquez on the edge of the area. The striker isn't allowed the space to get his shot away, however.
48' Murzaev cuts inside from the channel but ends up running into Adhikari and ends up fouling him in the process.
47' Sahal does well to twist away from his marker before releasing a ball through the lines but he overhits it and fails to find his intended target.
46' Blasters kick off the second half.
CFC SUB: Murzaev IN, Jobby OUT
KBFC SUB: Sahal IN, Vincy OUT
We are back for the second half!
Jorge Pereyra Diaz had the best chance to score in the first half as he was played a wonderful pass by Alvaro Vazquez. However, he missed the open net from the point-blank range.
Chennaiyin's Jobby Justin also missed a couple of good chances to put his team ahead.
It is 0-0 at the break. Stay tuned for live-action from the second half.
Half-time! (Kerala Blasters 0-0 Chennaiyin FC)
Two added minutes!
45' Edwin pings a good cross inside the box. Jobby gets in a good position and heads the ball towards goal but cannot keep his effort on target.
42' Miss- This time it is Jobby Justin with a horrible miss. He is played a great ball from the left flank. All he had to do was get a toe to the ball, but could not find the proper connection. The ball hit his shin and went out of play.
38' Big miss- How has Kerala not scored? KBFC takes CFC by surprise by taking a quick freekick. Vazquez finds Diaz at the far post with a wonderful pass but Diaz misses the open net from point-blank range.
34' KBFC trying to find an opening in the CFC defence. Ivan Vukomanovic's men are keeping the ball well.
29' Close- Jobby Justin heads the ball from a CFC corner. He tries to guide it in the top-right corner but cannot keep his effort on the target.
28' Hormipam puts in a brilliant challenge inside his own box to take the ball away from Lukasz. He had to get it right there.
25' Shot- Vazquez squares a pass to set up Diaz for a shot. Diaz obliges by taking a first-time shot but is way off-target.
24' Booking- Vincy Barretto becomes the first player to get booked in the match.
22' Edwin attempts a first-time cross from the right flank but he cannot keep the ball in play. It is a goalkick for Kerala.
20' Ayush Adhikari takes a shot from distance but it is nowhere near the goal.
17' Luna floats a cross from the left flank for Vazquez but the ball is cleared before it could reach the Spaniard.
15' Vazquez sets up Diaz for a shot with an exquisite touch inside the CFC box. Diaz takes the shot but it is blocked by Devrani.
13' Off the bar- Koman goes for goal from distance. It is a well-taken freekick as the ball dips dangerously and hits the bar. Gill looked beaten there.
9' This time, Stalin's cross from the left flank finds Diaz's head but the header is not on-target.
8' KBFC's Stalin swings a cross inside the box from the left but it is easily dealt with by Rahim Ali.
6' Kerala has not found its footing in the game yet. CFC losing possession cheaply but KBFC has not been able to capitalise.
3' A fast start from CFC as it is enjoying ample possession in its attacking-third. It hasn't been able to create any chances though.
7:30 pm: And we are underway!
7:10 pm: What are the coaches saying?
6:45 pm: STAT!
Chennaiyin's next win will be its 50th in the history of the ISL and will become only the third team, after FC Goa and Mumbai City FC to achieve the feat.
6:35 pm: Starting lineups out!
Kerala Blasters FC: Gill(GK); Ruivah, Leskovic, Stalin; Khabra, Luna, Adhikari, Vincy, Puitea, Diaz, Vazquez
Subs: Singh(GK); Enes, Sandeep, Bijoy; Givson, Sahal, Prasanth; Rahul, Chencho.
Coach: Ivan Vukomanovic.
Chennaiyin FC: Kaith(GK); Jerry, Deepak, Narayan; Edwin, Koman, Germanpreet, Thapa; Rahim, Jobby, Lukasz.
Subs: Samik(GK); Reagan, Salam, Slavko, Balaji; Meetel, Mirlan, Suhail, Valskis.
Coach: Sabir Pasha.
6:15 pm: When both teams met earlier in the season!
6:00 pm: This is our predicted xi for tonight's match!
Kerala Blasters Predicted XI: Prabhsukhan Gill (GK), Sanjeev Stalin, Bijoy V, Marko Leskovic, Sahal Samad, Adrian Luna (C), Harmanjot Khabra, Ayush Adhikari, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Chencho Gyeltshen, Alvaro Vazquez.
Chennaiyin FC Predicted XI: Debjit Majumder (GK), Reagan Singh, Narayan Das, Slavko Damjanovic, Deepak Devrani, Ninthoinganba Meetel, Anirudh Thapa (C), Ariel Borysiuk, Vladimir Koman, Nerijus Valskis, Rahim Ali.
5:47 pm: Head-to-head record!
In the 17 matches played between these two teams, Kerala Blasters FC have won four times. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC have been victorious on six occasions and the remaining seven matches have been draws.
There will be no room for error for Kerala Blasters FC as it looks to strengthen its semifinal chances when it takes on Chennaiyin FC in a crucial Indian Super League clash here on Saturday.
Kerala lost to league leaders Hyderabad in its last outing to remain in fifth place with 27 points from 17 games.
Mumbai City FC is fourth with 28 in its kitty, and the Islanders take on FC Goa on Saturday in a late kickoff, meaning Kerala would want to keep them on their toes with a victory earlier in the day.
Hyderabad is already through to the semis, making it a fight for the remaining three spots. Jamshedpur FC has an advantage as it is seated second with 31 points, but with two games in hand.
Alvaro Vazquez has been in top form and showed his class once again, in the second half against Hyderabad.
Nishu Kumar and Jeakson Singh are doubtful for Saturday, said Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanović.
Jorge Pereyra Díaz was not available for the last game as he was serving a one-match suspension, and the coach said they are still awaiting his verdict.
"We will see them in training today and take a decision. We will not take any risk and I don't like losing players at this stage of the season. So we will be careful." For Chennaiyin, the season is over in terms of pushing for a semifinal spot but the Sabir Pasha-coached side has the pride to play for.
Chennaiyin is in the middle of a winless run that has seen it not win any of its last six-game (two draws and four losses) and it would want to get back to winning ways and finish the season on a high.
Chennayin's defence has been found wanting in the last six games. It has conceded at least two goals a game in five of its last six games.
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