ISL 2020-21 highlights: Kerala Blasters FC beats Bengaluru FC 2-1

ISL 2020-21, KBFC vs BFC Football Updates: Get the Indian Super League news, scores, and commentary from the game between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC.

Lalthathanga Khawlhring celebrates his goal for Kerala Blasters FC against Bengaluru FC in the 2020-21 ISL on Wednesday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

This is Sportstar's match blog/highlights of the ISL 2020-21 encounter between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC in Goa on Wednesday.

That is all we have for tonight. We will be back tomorrow with the ATK Mohun Bagan vs Chennaiyin FC clash. Here's the preview for game 66 of 2020-21 ISL. [READ MORE] Until then, it's good night.

MATCH REPORT | ISL 2020-21 news: Rahul KP scores late winner for Kerala Blasters against Bengaluru FC

Kerala Blasters FC forward Gary Hooper takes home the 'Winning Pass of the Game' award, while his teammate and Indian attacker, Rahul KP, claims the 'Player of the Match' honour for tonight's outing.

BFC captain Sunil Chhetri: I don't know what to say, I'm speechless. We defended really bad and made mistakes during both goals. We tried our best to be compact. In the last couple of games, we had to chase the game. However, we scored first this time around and weren't able to capitalise on that. Last few years, we've never been in this kind of a situation. We have to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out a way to play better football. Udanta Singh playing up front at times actually worked out. I'm open to playing anywhere, right, left, or centre. It's the coach's call. It feels bad to think about the end result. We were alright till the 70th or 80th minute. But we zoned out after that. We need to work harder to come out on top in the next game.

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KBFC head coach Kibu Vicuna: I'm very happy with our performance tonight. This game was the opposite of the last (against SC East Bengal). We dropped two points from a winning position back then. But now we came from behind. We didn't give up and did our absolute best to find the winner. Jordan Murray was playing well as No. 9. But in the second half, we decided to move Rahul KP forward because he is quick, he can break the defensive line of the opposition with his runs and get into good positions. And the move worked. Bengaluru is a good crossing side. We had problems with Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri and Kristian Opseth in the reverse game. That's why Sandeep Singh was changing his position often. The defence did a very good job too.

Post-match reaction from both the camps coming up next.....

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

After Cleiton Silva's opener in the 24th minute, The Blues had several opportunities to double their lead. But all the missed chances came back to haunt them as the Blasters won with goals from Khawlhring and Rahul KP.

READ | ISL 2020-21: Points table, goals scored, goal difference - Kerala Blasters moves to ninth

KBFC is now tied with Jamshedpur FC and BFC in the standings, and is only behind them on goal difference after 12 games. Bengaluru stays in seventh spot, two points behind Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC.

Bengaluru FC's miserable run of form continues with its fifth defeat in the last six matches. Two defensive errors from Naushad Moosa's men tonight helped Kerala Blasters FC bag the full three points and move to 13 points.

From Carles Cuadrat's departure to what Kerala Blasters needs to do to improve, our reporters Aashin Prasad and Shyam Vasudevan talk all things ISL in our latest episode of the Full Time Show. Listen in:

AND IT'S FULL-TIME! FINAL SCORE: KERALA BLASTERS FC 2 - 1 BENGALURU FC!!!

90+5' SUBSTITUTION! This is a ploy to waste some more time. KBFC captain Costa Nhamoinesu is being taken out. Bakary Kone takes his place on the field.

90+3' GOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! RAHUL KP SCORESSSS!!!!! KERALA BLASTERS 2 - 1 BENGALURU!!! Bengaluru FC was crowding the box at the other end. Erik Paartalu came up with an overhead kick. But the ball was cleared away by the Blasters defence. KBFC forward Gary Hooper received it and set up Rahul on the right flank. The Indian winger took the ball forward, dribbled past BFC's Augustin and fired it past Gurpreet Singh.

90' Five minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! The substitute Leon Augustin takes the ball forward for BFC and he is one-on-one with keeper albino Gomes. But he messes up his shot as KBFC regains possession.

88' INJURY! Bengaluru FC's Francisco Gonazalez goes down to the ground after a collision with an opposition player. Gonzalez is unable to continue here as he is replaced by Pratik Chadhari. Meanwhile, Udanta Singh is also substituted by boss Naushad Moosa, who decides to bring on Kristian Opseth.

85' KERALA SUBSTITUTION! This is the second change of the game by head coach Vicuna. He brings in Seityasen Singh to replace Sahal Abdul Samad in the middle.

82' BFC CHANGE! This is the first substitution from Bengaluru manager Naushad Moosa tonight.  Suresh Wangjam makes way for Leon Augustin on the field.

79' KBFC CHANCE! Kerala Blasters FC's Rahul KP receives a good pass at close range. However, his attempted shot on target falls straight into the hands of Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet.

76' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FINAL DRINKS BREAK OF THE MATCH!

73' GOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!! Lalthathanga Khawlhring scores!!!!! KERALA BLASTERS 1 - 1 BENGALURU!!! Gary Hooper took a shot from inside the box. BFC keeper Gurpreet made the save with his head and went to the ground. The rebound fell to another KBFC player and a low cross was supplied into the box. After a brief game of pinball, Khawlhring slloted the ball home. Bengaluru CB Juanan was poor there.

70' Bengaluru FC is just passing the ball in midfield to frustrate the Kerala Blasters FC players. KBFC manager Kibu Vicuna looks extremely animated on the sidelines.

67' OFFSIDE! The referee wrongly gives an offside after seeing his linesman raise his flag. Sunil Chhetri was the man offside but Juanan received the pass from midfield. The BFC players argue with the referee. Finally, everything is settled as this will be a drop-ball situation.

64' FREE-KICK FOR BENGALURU! Cleiton Silva will take this one as well. The ball is placed close to the left corner flag. The cross is played into the box. But the Kerala defence makes the clearance once again.

61' Kerala Blasters FC has made some exciting moves forward. The team is desperately trying to find the equaliser. However, the Bengaluru defence and goalkeeper Gurpreet have been difficult to beat tonight.

58' ANOTHER BFC MOVE! Sunil Chhetri and Cleiton Silva complement each other well and create another chance. Cleiton receives the ball on the right flank and attempts to cross it into the box. But once again the Kerala defenders avert the danger with a group effort.

55' BFC CHANCE! Cleiton Silva passes the ball to Amay Morajkar just outside the box. The latter takes a shot on target but the ball is blocked by KBFC defender Sandeep Singh.

53' YELLOW CARD! Bengaluru defender Juanan takes down Kerala Blasters substitute Khawlhring with a ruthless sliding tackle. The referee initially books Paartalu but then realises his mistake and hands Juanan the yellow.

50' SHOT! BFC midfielder Erik Paartalu receives the ball in the final third and takes a shot from long. The ball misses the target by a big margin. KBFC wins a goal-kick!

48' SUBSTITUTION! Kerala Blasters FC manager Kibu Vicuna makes a change straightaway. He brings in Lalthathanga Khawlhring to replace Jordan Murray in the middle.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

Forty-five minutes to go. Stay tuned!

Despite Bengaluru FC's 1-0 lead in the first half, Kerala Blasters FC, with an overall possession of 48 per cent, has put up a tough fight in match 65 of the 2020-21 ISL on Wednesday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

 

Cleiton Silva's solitary goal in the opening 45 minutes gives Bengaluru FC the lead against Kerala Blasters FC.

AND IT'S HALF-TIME! SCORE: BENGALURU FC 1 - 0 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!

45' Two minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! Albino Gomes makes a good save after Sunil Chhetri smashes the ball towards the near post from close range. This could have easily become 2-0 for Bengaluru here.

43' FREE-KICK FOR BFC! Costa Nhamoinesu commits yet another foul in a possible scoring position. Bengaluru has been attacking with number forward in the last few minutes.

40' VERY CLOSE! BFC centre-back Juanan plays a long ball towards Udanta Singh from the other half. Udanta rushed past Kerala's Costa Nhamoinesu and Jeakson Singh with his pace and was close to goal. But Sandeep Singh tracked back right in time to make the clearance with a sliding tackle.

37' THROW-IN FOR BFC! Udanta Singh gets the ball just outside the box. He dribbles past an opposition player and tries to take a shot. But the ball is deflected off a defender as it goes out.

34' FOUL! Bengaluru FC winger Udanta Singh is fouled by Kerala Blasters FC captain Costa Nhamoinesu on the right flank. Cleiton Silva took the set-piece but the Blasters defence clears the ball away from danger.

31' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FIRST HALF COOLING BREAK!

29' BACK-TO-BACK FREE-KICKS FOR KERALA! Sandeep Singh tried to reach the first cross, however, he was fouled just outside the box. Vicente Gomez took the next free-kick but his shot was a poor one as Bengaluru regained possession.

26' There had been nothing to separate the two sides in the last 15 minutes. Cleiton's goal could prove a decisive factor in how the game shapes up from here.

23' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!! CLEITON SILVA SCORES!!! BENGALURU FC 1 - 0 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!!! Rahul Bheke attempted a long throw from the right flank. The ball beat everyone, including the likes of Erik Paartalu (BFC) and Costa (KBFC) who went for headers. It finally fell to Cleiton Silva who found the back of the net with a brilliant shot on the half-volley.

20' SAVE! Sahal Abdul Samad makes a brilliant move forward. He evades a few Bengaluru players with his amazing footwork and gets into the final third. However, he takes one touch too many and hits the ball straight at BFC keeper Gurpreet Singh from close range.

17' WHAT A CHANCE! Kerala forward Gary Hooper tries to find a teammate inside the box. But his attempted pass hits a defender and the ball fall backs to Hooper, who fires it over the bar. This is a big miss!

14' CORNER FOR KBFC! Suresh Wangjam is alert much to BFC manager Naushad Moosa's delight as he sends the ball out of play from a dangerous position. It will be a KBFC set-piece though. Costa Nhamoinesu is at the receiving end of a cross from the right. But he heads the ball over the goalpost.

11' CHANCE! Udanta Singh receives the ball after a rebound close to the box. He takes good first touch and has a shot on target from a narrow angle. The ball flies over the crossbar for a Kerala goal-kick.

8' Bengaluru FC has started the game well. It already holds an advantage over Kerala Blasters FC, having won five out of seven outings against the team. BFC's only loss came during ISL season six in Kochi.

5' SHOT! Erik Partaalu exchanges a few quick passes and moves towards the KBFC box. But the Bengaluru midfield isn't able to find the target with his shot. He just hit one straight at Kerala keeper Albino a few moments ago.

2' FREE-KICK FOR KBFC! Amay Morajkar pulls down Vicente Gomez from behind. The referee awards aet-piece to Kerala. However, the Blasters are unable to capitalise on Sahal Abdul Samad's cross into the box.

7:30 PM: AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

7:15 PM: As Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC get ready to face off in match 65 of the 2020-21 ISL, here are the important stats, players to watch out for and head-to-head record from the big Southern Derby. (FULL STORY)

7:00 PM: STAT ATTACK! Kerala has conceded 20 goals, most by a team in ISL-7. The team has also conceded five penalties, joint most by a side in the tournament. KBFC has 8 different goal scorers this season, which is the joint most too.

On the other hand, Bengaluru is winless in its last 5 matches, having lost four of those. The outfit has failed to keep a clean sheet in its last eight games as well. BFC has scored nine of its 13 goals this edition in the second half.

6:45 PM: Three changes for Kerala Blasters FC tonight! Yondrembem Denechandra, Rahul KP and Juande have replaced Jessel Carneiro, Nishu Kumar and Facundo Pereyra in Vicuna's playing XI.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC has made four alterations! Pratik Chaudhari, Harmanjot Khabra, Dimas Delgado and Kristian Opseth have made way for Amay Morajkar, Suresh Wangjam, Udanta Singh and Francisco Gonzalez in Moosa's team.

6:30 PM: The team lineups are out!

KBFC XI: Albino Gomes, Sandeep Singh, Costa Nhamoinesu, Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Juande, Yondrembem Denechandra, Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray.

COACH: Kibu Vicuna.

BFC XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Rahul Bheke, Juanan, Parag Srivas, Francisco Gonzalez, Amay Morajkar, Suresh Wangjam, Cleiton Silva, Erik Paartalu, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh.

COACH: Naushad Moosa.

6:15 PM: From Carles Cuadrat's departure to what Kerala Blasters needs to do to improve, our reporters Aashin Prasad and Shyam Vasudevan talk all things ISL in our latest episode of the Full Time Show. Listen in:

Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of ISL 2020-21.

The seventh edition of the Indian Super League got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following the inclusion of SC East Bengal, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

ISL 2020: Points Table

MATCH PREVIEW:

After having arrested a string of four consecutive defeats with a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United FC, Bengaluru FC (BFC) will look to get its season back on track when it meets Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday.

Naushad Moosa’s side is currently seventh with 13 points from 11 games, but the interim coach believes that all is not lost yet and that his side is very much in the race for a playoff spot. “It’s not like we have given up,” Moosa said on match-eve. “We still have nine games and teams are still close by and things are still open. So let's hope we do better and get some points.”

The Blasters are one of three sides BFC has registered a victory against this campaign. But Kibu Vicuna’s team has seen an improvement in form since then, though it is precariously placed in 10th position with 10 points. The outfit’s two victories have come in the last five matches and it took an injury time equaliser from SC East Bengal to deny a third, last Friday.

“The circumstances are different [from the last meeting] but we are preparing for every game in the same manner,” Vicuna said. “[our aim] is to play well and try to win and improve our defence and attack.”

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Blasters will surely be helped by the fact that BFC will be without influential midfielder Dimas Delgado, who has returned to Spain following a family emergency. After Ashique Kuruniyan, Delgado will be the second sure-shot starter BFC will miss. Moosa hinted that it would be the last we would see of the Spaniard this season, with games coming thick and fast and strict quarantine rules in place for travellers abroad.

“We have to cope,” said Moosa. “We have some quality players and we will be trying them [out]. We are not changing much in the way we are playing. We are just asking players to keep the ball more instead of playing those long balls; to keep the ball when you have it and be compact when you lose it. With Dimas gone, we will get a new player and we need to see how much time that player will take.”

Vicuna seemed to believe that place will go to Fran Gonzalez, a player he coached last season to the I-League title at Mohun Bagan. Gonzalez, Bagan’s joint top-scorer then with 10 goals, can play both in defence and midfield, but has struggled to nail down a place at BFC, starting just two games.

For Blasters, defender Bakary Kone, who has missed the last two matches because of an injury, remains a doubt. BFC’s new signing Xisco Hernandez will be unavailable for two weeks owing to mandatory quarantine.

ISL 2020-21 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.