Kerala Blasters 3-1 East Bengal highlights, ISL 2022-23: Ivan’s brace on debut gives KBFC the win against EBFC

Welcome to Sportstar’s live blog of the Indian Super League opening fixture between Kerala Blasters and East Bengal FC, being played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi, Kerala.

Ivan Kaliuzhnyi of Kerala Blasters FC scored two goals coming on from the bench to win the match for the host, against East Bengal.

Ivan Kaliuzhnyi of Kerala Blasters FC scored two goals coming on from the bench to win the match for the host, against East Bengal. | Photo Credit: Focus Sports/ISL

Welcome to Sportstar’s live blog of the Indian Super League opening fixture between Kerala Blasters and East Bengal FC, being played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi, Kerala.

Match Report: ISL 2022-23: Ivan Kaliuzhnyi’s brace gifts Kerala Blasters a 3-1 win against East Bengal

Post Match Ceremony
Hero of the Match: Ivan Kaliuzhnyi
Adrian Luna, Kerala Blasters: I thing we have improved a lot. Of course we have to improve. The good thing is we won and we have to imorive on th mistakes that we did in the first half.
Ivan Vukomanovic, Kerala Blasters: It was a pleasure (playing in Kochi). I think we delivered something that will help them to sleep in peace tonight. Ivan is (a type of player)we did not have before, He is young, he is quick and we are very happy for him and for everybody associated with the club.
Full Time! Kerala Blasters 3-1 East Bengal
Two quick-fire goals by Ivan Kaliuzhnyi hands Kerala Blasters win against East Bengal in the opening fixture of the Indian Super League 2022-23.
Kerala Blasters’ Luna takes the corner kick which after a headed clearance falls for Ivan outside the box and he hits on the volley into the net to widen Kerala’s lead at home.

East Bengal scores from a set-piece as Alex gets the ball following a failed headed clearance from the corner kick and shoots it into the net to pull one bacl.


Kerala is raining attacks on East Bengal now. Shortly after the second goal, Kamaljit denied a clear goal and now Rahul’s soht is saved by the stopper to keep the score 2-0.


Ivan gets the ball in the midfield, makes a solo run into the penalty box and beats Kamaljit to make it 2-0 for the host in Kochi.

Triple change for East Bengal!
In: Eliandro, Amarjit and Jerry, Out: Kyriakou, Tuhin and Shouvik
Did you know?
Kerala Blasters has never lost a game under Ivan Vukomanovic after scoring first. In 25 games, they have won 10 times and have drawn in 15 games.
72’ GOAL! Luna puts Kerala Blasters ahead; KBFC 1-0 EBFC
Luna gets a long ball from Harmanjot Khabra, in the penalty box and he tosses the ball over Kamajlit Singh to give Kerala Blasters the lead.

Alex gets the ball in the penalty box, passes to Shouvik on his right and the midfielder shoots over the goal to see the ball fly over the net.


More than an hour completed in the match and still the score remains 0-0 after a brilliant goalkeeping performance by Kamaljit Singh.

62’ Second yellow card for East Bengal!
Ankit kicks Luna from the back and the Uruguayan goes down wreathing in pain. The referee punishes Ankit with a yellow card, East Bengal’s second of the night.
61’ Substitution! In: Semboi Haokip, Out: Suhair VP
60’ Yellow card! Chungnunga gets the first yellow card of ISL 2022-23
Dimitriakos is held tightly and pushed down to the ground by Chungnunga and the referee shows his the first yellow card of the ISL 2022-23 season.

Kerala Blasters attacks on the counter and Puitea carries the ball into the final third with a great run and passes to his left to Giannou, who tries a right-footed curler, which flies over the net.


Giannou gets the ball along the right flank, crosses for Luna, who had sprinted into the box and the Uruguayan shoots on target and yet again, Kamaljit makes a good save. That is four saves in five minutes.

50’ Super keeper Kamaljit!
Sahal shot ricochet’s off and finally falls for Giannou in the penalty box, who shoots with his right foot. But, after a deflection, Kamaljit denies the opening goal to the team in yellow yet again.

Double save! Kerala Blasters’ corner kick pushed away by Kamaljit and another cross in the follow-up by Puitea is again punched away by Kamalit.


Chance! Suhair gets the ball along the left flank and beats his marker to try and cross to his left. However, he mis-hits the ball as it goes out for a goal kick.

Second Half begins!
Kerala scored eight times in the final 15 minutes last season and will look to break the deadlock on home soil this time around as it resumes play against East Bengal now.
Half-Time! Kerala Blasters 0-0 East Bengal
After a tense contest, neither side could beat the last line of defence as saves from Gill and Kamaljit keeps the score 0-0 at the half-way mark in the match.

Suhair tries to steal the ball off Luna and gifts KBFC a free kick close to the box. Luna shoots and Kamaljit pounces to make a save and manages to keep the ball out of the net.


Luna delivers a long ball for Giannou, but Kamaljit intercepts and puts the attack to bed. Giannuo and Dimitrios are expected to fill up the space left by Diaz and Vazquez. So far, the combination has looked far from the one the pair had under Vukomanovic.


East Bengal gets the ball in the box, but Suhair goes down too softly following contact by Leskovic and the referee is not at all interested to give away a penalty and KBFC goes on an attack on the other side.


More than half an hour over in the match and neither of the sides have been able to break the deadlock in Kochi. East Bengal has had the only shot on target so far.

Scuffle in the middle of the match!
After a challenge by Ivan on Giannou, approaches the former Goa defender and their is some heated conversation and Jeakson gets involved in what turns on into an out-and-out fight. The referee separates the two groups and after a verbal warning, resumes play.

Chance! Sahal carries the ball off a pass from Jessel in the final third, cuts in to his right and passes to Puitea who shoots. But the ball whiffs off target as the score remains 0-0.

Did you know?
In the first match last East Bengal had earned a point with a draw, while Kerala Blasters had lost its opener, losing 2-4 to ATK Mohun Bagan.

Corner kick! Alex takes the corner kick which is caught comfortably by Gill, who gets to the ball before Ivan, who was satnding behind him, could.


Kerala Blasters starts the attack along the right flank now with Saal crossing in from the right, but East Bengal makes a crucial interception to deny Giannou, who was closing in, a chance


East Bengal, having started in a 4-3-3 shape, has changed to a 4-4-2 formation with Suhair and Cleiton leading the attack. Ivan Vukomanovic, who had maintained a similar shape, has returned to a 4-4-2 shape -- something his side had throughout last season.


Miss! Kerala Blasters attacks on the counter with Dimitrios at the centre of it, passes it to Jessel and he delivers a perfect cross for Giannou and the final touch is off target. What a miss that.


Save! Lima steals the ball off Kerala Blasters after a mistake by Puitea and beats Leskovic to shoot on target. Gill makes the first save of the match as the ball was looking to almost certainly get into the net.


Just off target! Luna takes the corner kick and Leskovic heads it just wide. No one had marked the KBFC defender, but his header was just off-target.


Kerala tries to attack on the counter. Puitea gets the ball across the midfield to his left for Jessel and Jessel crosses for Giannou. However, the cross was too high and the ball goes out for a goal kick.


Chance! Lima intercepts the ball in the midfield, makes a forward run and passes to Suhair on his right. The former NEUFC keeper delays his shot and when it comes, it goes out for a corner. Lima takes it, but it is cleared by KBFC.


Both the teams are staying very cautious at the moment, keeping its defenders clung to the pnalty box and KBFC tries to ppress early, only to see Ankit get the ball back to Kamaljit.

7:35 pm: Kick-Off!
Kerala Blasters, in yellow and blue, starts from the right to left, while East Bengal, in white, starts from the other end.
7:25 pm: The stage is set as the players line-up!
Players of both the teams walk out from the tunnel amid huge applause from the fans. TIFOs of the manjapada embrace the stadium as the players queue up before kick-off.

7:15 pm: What are the managers saying?

Ivan Vukomanovic, Kerala Blasters head coach: “There will no easy opponents, there will be no easy points for us this season, and we will have to prove that again on the pitch.”

7:00 pm: A chance for both sides to start afresh!

Kerala Blasters missed out on the ISL Championship for the third time, after losing to Hyderabad FC in the final, while East Bengal finished at the bottom of the table last season, with just one win in 20 games. This season, both teams will look to shrug off past results as they lock horns in Kochi tonight.

6:45 pm: The players are out in the field and are warming up in front of a packed Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. Both the teams have decided to go with a 4-3-3 formation.

6:30 pm: Starting lineups out!
Kerala Blasters FC: Gill – Khabra, Leskovic, Hormipam, Carneiro – Luna, Puitea, Sahal – Jeakson, Dimitrios, Giannou
East Bengal FC: Kamaljit – Kyriakou, Lalchungnunga, Ivan, Ankit – Alex, Tuhin, Shouvik – Suhair, Cleiton, Passi

6:15 pm: Kerala is ready to welcome its home team with fans queueing up, outside the stadium.

6:00 pm: Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal Predicted XI
Kerala Blasters FC: Gill – Khabra, Leskovic, Hormipam, Carneiro – Luna, Singh, Mongil, Sahal – Dimitrios, Giannou
East Bengal FC: Kamaljit – Pritam, Ivan, Ankit – Kyriakou, Alex, Mobashir, Shouvik, Passi – Suhair, Cleiton

The ninth season of the Indian Super League (ISL) will kick off when Kerala Blasters takes on East Bengal at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi, on Friday.

After two years of matches being played at centralised locations and behind closed doors, the league is back to the home-and away format with the runner-up of the last season starting its pursuit for the title on matchday 1.

The contest tonight will be between a side that has been built by KBFC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic throughout the previous season against a side that former Indian national team head coach Stephen Constantine has got together before the Durand Cup.

Kerala will rue the absence of the two heads of its attack last season – Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Pereyra Diaz – who had scored 16 of KBFC’s 37 goals and joined FC Goa and Mumbai City this season respectively.

However, the team has signed Apostolos Giannou and Dimitrios Diamantakos as replacements and will have Adrian Luna – its midfield talisman last season – pulling strings in attack this season as well.

KBFC players training ahead of the game against EBFC (ISL)

KBFC players training ahead of the game against EBFC (ISL) | Photo Credit: ISL Media

“For us, there is no pressure, there is always a pleasure because the players and us are doing something that we love, Vukomanovic, the head coach of Kerala Blasters, said before the match.

“So, when you have this kind of atmosphere and situation, you have a positive mindset and nice things tend to happen. We believe in our objectives, we believe in our ideas, and we will see where it takes us.”

East Bengal, on the other hand, has made optimistic strides after another disastrous ISL campaign last time, where it finished last in the table with just one win.

Bino George, the Kerala coach who won the Santosh Trophy this year, has paired with Constantine in the dugout, while former FC Goa centre-back Ivan Gonzalez is expected to be the defensive pillar for the Red-and-Gold brigade.

The team has assigned former Aniket Jadhav – an ISL Champion – from Hyderabad FC, Cleiton Silva from Bengaluru FC and Sumit Passi from RoundGass Punjab – all of whom have looked promising in the Durand Cup.

“I understand how Indian players think, and how they feel and that for sure is an advantage. But the past is the past and I can't change what happened last season or the season before. I can change what's going to happen next,” Constantine said before the match.

“We have worked very hard in the short time that we have been together. I had 12 players when I arrived here but now we have a squad of 26-27 players and they have worked very hard for me so far.”


In the Indian Super League, KBFC and EBFC have met four times in the past and only once has a decisive result come through, when Kerala Blasters beat East Bengal on February 14, 2022. The remaining three matches have all been draws.

  • ⦿ Kerala Blasters 1-0 East Bengal FC – February 14, 2022
  • ⦿ Kerala Blasters 1-1 East Bengal FC – December 12, 2021
  • ⦿ Kerala Blasters 1-1 East Bengal FC – January 15, 2021
  • ⦿ Kerala Blasters 1-1 East Bengal FC – December 20, 2020

Form Guide:

Kerala Blasters’ senior team will play ISL as its first competitive tournament this season. In the Durand Cup, where it fielded its reserve side, KBFC finished as the only junior side (among ISL teams) to play the quarterfinals.

East Bengal FC, on the other other hand, ended its Durand Cup campaign on a high, beating runner-up Mumbai City FC 4-3 in its final group stage match.

Where will Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal be played?
The Indian Super League fixture Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, Kerala.
When is Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal in ISL?
The match between Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal is scheduled for a 7:30 pm kick-off IST.
In which channel ISL is live?
Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal will be aired on the Star Network from 7 pm.
Where can I live stream Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal?
The ISL fixture – Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal – will be live streamed on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.
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