ISL 2020-21: Hakku, Murray steer Kerala Blasters to first win of the season

ISL 2020: Kerala Blasters won its first game of the Indian Super League season when it got past Hyderabad FC on Sunday.

Jordan Murray

Kerala Blasters' Jordan Murray celebrates after scoring against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) on Sunday.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

The wait is finally over Kerala Blasters. The men from Kochi posted their first win of the season in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim (Goa), on Sunday night, at the expense of Hyderabad FC.

Their 2-0 victory marked the end of their agonising streak of six matches without a win. Central defender Abdul Hakku and Australian striker Jordan Murray were the goalscorers.

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Hakku, who was starting a game for the first time this season, and Murray were among the five changes by coach Kibu Vicuna, as Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh and Sandeep Singh also marched on to the field in a new-look Blasters team. With the win, Blasters has doubled its tally to six points, while Hyderabad remains on nine.

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Though it was Hyderabad that threatened more to score in the early part of the game, winning a corner in the eighth minute, the rebuilt defence of Blasters stood firm. And one of those new men in the defence, Hakku, put his team ahead with a superb header off a well-taken corner-kick by Facundo Pereyra. The Hyderabad players, though, believed there shouldn't have been a corner-kick at all, as they pointed out to the referee that the ball had gone off the head of Blasters' Vicente Gomez.

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Hyderabad had opportunities to equalise in the opening half, including one in the 45th minute, when its leading scorer of the season, Aridane Santana, was given an excellent assist by Mohammed Yasir at the end of a lovely move that beat the Kerala defence. The Spanish striker, though, failed to provide the finishing touch.

The second half opened with Blasters creating several chances, but it had to wait for a long time for its second goal, which came off a fine move down the left by Rohit Kumar, which Murray finished with a volley.