ISL: Ogbeche strikes helps Kerala Blasters stun Bengaluru

Two errors from Bengaluru's Spanish defender Albert Serran paved way for both the Kerala Blasters goals with Bartholomew Ogbeche punishing the visitor twice.

Ogbeche

Ogbeche celebrates scoring against Bengaluru FC in Kochi.   -  H. Vibu

Kerala Blasters finally solved the Bengaluru FC puzzle after six attempts as the Kochi side ended its home leg in style by dishing out a 2-1 win over the visitor at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Saturday.

Two errors from Bengaluru's Spanish defender Albert Serran paved way for both the Kerala Blasters goals. Blasters captain Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a brace as the Blasters recorded only their third win at home.

AS IT HAPPENED

Coach Eelco Schattorie's pre-match boast wasn't misplaced as it was by far one of the better performances at home by Kerala Blasters.  

However, it appeared to be a familiar script when Bengaluru scored a goal against the trend in the 16th minute. Messi Bouli was challenged by two Bengaluru midfielders and he lost possession. Suresh Singh Wangjam fizzed in a long ball to Deshorn Brown who had no difficultly in going around Blasters goalkeeper Bilal Khan, after he strayed out of his line, to score the opening goal.

Blasters had a chance to equalise very soon. Halicharan Narzary arrowed in a fine cross from the left which was met by Messi's crisp header. But it was blocked by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

 

Prodigal finishing continued to haunt Blasters in the first half even though the dogged defence of Bengaluru gave only a few scoring chances. Ogbeche hooked a ball over the bar and Messi was wayward as Blasters remained wasteful. At the other end, Bilal punched away a free-kick from Dimas Delgado and recovered to block the effort from the rebound to keep his side in the game.

ISL 2019-20: Points table, goals scored, goal difference  

Blasters then drew level in the injury time of the first half. Ogbeche was brought down by Serran and in the ensuing free-kick, the French striker managed to breach Gurpreet's defence. 

The home team played with refreshing freedom in the second half. The Bengaluru defence was rattled by the opposition's aggression. Nazary induced a good save from Gurpreet early in the half.

The sustained pressure from Blasters forced an error from the Bengaluru defence. Serran made his second mistake when he tugged Messi from behind and pulled him down. And in the resultant penalty, Ogbeche sent Gurpreet the wrong way as Blasters went ahead in the 70th minute.

Blasters then defended its lead without any fuss as Bengaluru looked listless and clueless in the second half.

The result

Kerala Blasters 2 (Ogbeche 45+3, 72) bt Bengaluru FC ( Brown 16).

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