U-18 Youth League: Kerala Blasters beats SAI Kolkata, moves into final

Blasters’ Abdullah K. S. scored two goals in a 2-1 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong.

Action from the U-18 Youth League semifinal on Thursday.   -  AIFF Media

Abdullah K. S. helped ensure Kerala Blasters moved into the final of the U-18 Youth League by scoring two goals in a 2-1 defeat of SAI Kolkata at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Thursday. Abdullah’s 39th minute strike gave Blasters the lead before Injaman Molla levelled the score two minutes later. Abdullah struck again early in the second half to provide victory.

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Blasters created numerous scoring opportunities in the early part of the contest, with Adarsh A. S., Badusha T. T. and Abdullah all failing to make the most of their chances. A well-timed pass from Yashin Malik gave Abdullah the opportunity; he rounded Kolkata custodian Tuhin Goswami to score the first goal. Kolkata responded almost immediately as Molla put the ball past Ayush Das from inside the box.

End-to-end action

With parity restored, Kolkata increased the pressure and attacked the rival goal ferociously, going close on a few occasions. After the break, quick counter-attacks from both teams took the play from end to end. Kolkata goalkeeper Goswami was impressive, denying the impressive and relentless strike force of Adarsh, Badusha, Yasin and Abdullah time and again.

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But he couldn’t hold Kerala off forever and in the 50th minute, Abdullah pounced on a loose ball to give his side the lead for the second time. Blasters, thereafter, continued to attack the rival goal and had a couple of really close chances. First, Yasin skied his attempt from close before Muhammed Arfas V. C. had his long-range effort saved by Tuhin.

Kolkata’s efforts at eking out a draw proved futile as Blasters held on against the offensive in the business end to see itself through.

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