Brown helps Blasters pick up full points against NorthEast

The win took Kerala Blasters to 24 points from 16 outings and kept it a point adrift of Jamshedpur FC which is placed fourth.

Kerala Blasters' Wes Brown celebrates his goal against NorthEast United FC.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Defender Wesley Brown found the winner midway through first half to help Kerala Blasters FC score a solitary goal win against host NorthEast United FC here at the Indira Gandhi stadium on Saturday.

While making up for the sluggishness his team’s attack, of the Brown’s set-piece conversion secured the full three points for the visitor and kept it in the hunt for a play-off berth. The win took it to 24 points from 16 outings and kept it a point adrift of Jamshedpur FC which is placed fourth.

Maintaining the record of scoring in all its away matches, the Blasters went into the break with a vital lead.

Despite being out of the contention, the host showed the right intent trying to control the ball from the start. The Kerala Blasters’ goalkeeper Paul Rachubka had to make a couple of good saves early to keep the sheet clean before Wes Brown nodded home the goal making the most of a fine corner from Jackichand Singh.

The former Manchester United defender made up for the lack of purpose of his colleagues — C.K. Vineeth and Gudjon Baldvinsson — upfront when he stepped up from the back-line in the 28 minute to guide home the corner that Jackichand had floated deep inside the United box.

This was Brown’s first ISL goal and it came in the right time lending fuel to the visitor’s efforts.

Prior to this the Blasters came close to scoring from open play in the 19 minute but failed to find the net as Vineeth struggled to connect a free ball into the goal.

North East had its best opportunity in the 10 minute when its Swedish striker set up Brazilian colleague Danilo Lopes Cezario. The latter could not generate enough power on his attempt allowing Rachubka to go for a save.

The visitor slowed it down looking to preserve the lead after the break as the host continued its quest for the equaliser but could only see the ball coming off the cross-piece in the 72nd minute from a Lalrindika Ralte effort.

The frustration of seeing his team suffer the seventh defeat at home seemed to tell on the celebrated coach Avram Grant, who was sent off as he entered the playing arena to argue with the referee following an incident (in 90+ 4 minutes) involving Baldvinsson and the home forward John Mosquera.

Result: North East United 0 lost to Kerala Blasters (Wesley Brown 28)