Kerala Blasters suffered a stoppage-time heartbreak as it was forced to a 1-1 draw by SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Friday night.
Just when it looked like the Blasters would celebrate its third victory this season, after a Jordan Murray goal shortly after the hour mark, came the East Bengal equaliser from Scott Neville off a corner kick in the fourth minute of injury time.
It was virtually a repeat of the previous meeting between the two teams, on December 20, which also ended 1-1. There was no change at the bottom in the 11-team ladder after the draw with East Bengal staying in the ninth spot (11 points) and Blasters in 10th (10 pts) after 11 games each.
The young Sahal Abdul Samad played a lively game as Blasters appeared to control a major part of the first half. And as the match progressed both sides had plenty of chances but there were also many occasions when the players gave away the ball cheaply.
Australian Murray, the Blasters' top scorer now with six goals, had a chance to score soon after the start but he shot straight at the goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar. But when he did strike, in the 63rd minute, there was plenty of drama.
It looked like a chest ball, a foot shot and a header all rolled into one as Murray found the target with two defenders desperately chasing him. The assist came from the Blasters' goalkeeper Albino Gomes, whose long shot from the box fell straight into Murray's path.
And then, minutes after East Bengal's Aaron Holloway messed up a fine chance to score, came the equaliser. It was virtually the last piece of action in the match and Neville scored with a fine header off Bright Enobakhare's perfect corner.
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