Kaluderovic denies Kerala Blasters a win

C. K. Vineeth made his presence felt early in the second half when his left footed shot — off a goalmouth melee following a corner - put Kerala ahead.

Andrija Kaludjerovic of Delhi Dynamos FC in action while scoring an equalizing goal against Kerala Blasters FC in Hero ISL.   -  Getty Images

Kerala Blasters' wait for its first home win continued as Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic’s 85th minute header handed Delhi Dynamos a 1-1 draw in the fifth edition of ISL at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Saturday.

In a match played under constant drizzle, a Kaluderovic's strike cancelled out an opportunistic C. K. Vineeth’s goal in the 48th minute. The Kerala striker only made it into the starting eleven because the first choice striker Matej Poplatnik was laid low by viral fever. However, Vineeth made his presence felt early in the second half when his left footed shot — off a goalmouth melee following a corner — put Kerala ahead.

Kerala conceded the equaliser more through its sloppiness as it tried to preserve its lead. Kerala abandoned its attacking style and switched to a defensive game which backfired. The Kerala defence failed to clear a high ball properly and a lurking Kaluderovic nodded it home.

As it happened

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Delhi had more of the ball in the first half and the attack came predominantly from the left flank where Lallianzuala Chhangte was a threatening presence. The Kerala defence was under constant pressure but captain Sandesh Jinghan’s calming presence averted the danger. Delhi won a string of corners but couldn’t find a way to test the Kerala goalkeeper Naveen Kumar, who was surprisingly handed a debut by coach David James.

Despite being forced to pedal back by the early Delhi aggression, it was Kerala which took the first shot at the goal. Giving early indications of vulnerability, the Delhi defence was caught napping by a Kerala counter-attack that saw Halicharan Nazary's shot sail over the bar. Delhi goalkeeper Francisco Ramon Sanchez made a good save to deny Slavisa Stojanovic in the 22nd minute when the Serbian striker shot at the far post after being fed by Nazary.

However, the best chance for Kerala came in the 33rd minute with another counter-attack. Nazary moved into the box and arrowed in a cross which rebounded off a Delhi defender and came to Vineeth, whose first timer was wayward but the ball came to an unmarked Stojonoiv, who side-netted his finish. The Kerala goal had another close shave when a rare Delhi attack from the right flank saw Romeo Fernandes relay the ball to an overlapping Gianni Micheal Zuiverloon, who shot out.