ISL: Kerala Blasters 2-1 Bengaluru FC - Talking points

Talking Points: Goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche helped Kerala Blasters overturn Deshorn Brown's strike to earn it a 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC.

Blasters celebrates Ogbeche's strike against Bengaluru FC.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Kerala Blasters recorded its first win over Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

Goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche helped the home side overturn Deshorn Brown's strike to earn it a 2-1 win over the Blues.

Here are the major talking points from the game.


1) Ogbeche, the saviour again

Ogbeche's goals have been directly responsible for 10 of the 18 points the Blasters has taken this season. The French striker pulled his team level at the half-time break when Bengaluru FC centre-back Albert Serran fouled him at the edge of the box. From the resultant free-kick, Ogbeche thumped the ball across the turf which Gurpreet Singh Sandhu spilled over the goal line. Late in the second half, Ogbeche got another opportunity to score when Messi Bouli was fouled inside the box. The Blasters skipper slotted the penalty with ease to take his season's tally to 13, bettering his last season's effort of 12 at NorthEast United FC.

2) Gning an unsung hero in Blasters midfield

While the usual suspects of Sergio Cidoncha and Mario Arques have disappointed over the course of the season, the relatively unknown Moustapha Gning has shone in midfield for coach Eelco Schattorie. Gning ran covered every inch of the pitch in an all-round midfield display against Bengaluru. Despite the loss of Cidoncha early in the match due to an injury, Gning ran the show both in defence and attack.

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The Senegalese midfielder made four successful tackles, made three clearances and two interceptions while also creating two chances in the other end of the pitch with a 85 per cent pass (67 passes) completition.

3) Blues struggles continue

While Bengaluru finished with a flourish in the league stages in past two seasons, this season it has failed off -- two wins from last five matches. Although it has qualified for the play-offs, Bengaluru has only managed to hit the 20-goal mark -- the eighth best attacking record in the league. It has been heavily reliant on the 35-year-old Sunil Chhetri, who was suspended for this contest. The Blues are currently on course to finish with their lowest-ever goals tally at the end of a regulation league season in their seven-year history.

4) Udanta, Ashique fail to impress

With the arrival of Ashique Kuruniyan in the summer, the trio of the Kerala winger, Chhetri and Udanta Singh were meant to uplift Bengaluru's attack. However, only Chhetri has impressed during the campaign. Udanta has failed to add to his goal count since his strike in the second game of the season. The pair of Udanta and Ashique has just a goal and an assist to their name with the latter also having been put to the test in an unusual left-back position in the first half of the season.

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