ISL Semi-Final Match Report : Kerala Blasters thrash Chennaiyin FC 3-0 – Sportzwiki

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ISL Semi-Final Match Report : Kerala Blasters thrash Chennaiyin FC 3-0 

Kerala Blasters 3 – 0 Chennaiyin FC

I. Ahmed 27’  I. Hume 29’  S. Mathew 90+4’

Kerala Blasters thrashed Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in the first leg of first Semi-final in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

Goals from Ishfaq Ahmed, Iain Hume and substitute Sushanth Mathew netted a beauty to give Kerala Blasters a massive advantage going into the second leg.
 
Kerala Blasters made four changes to the side as Colin Falvey, Ishfaq Ahmed, Nirmal Chhetri entering the lineup along with a surprise inclusion for Michael Chopra. Chopra started for the first time this season for the Kerala Blasters.

Elano returned for Chennaiyin FC after sitting out during the last few matches with injury along with three other changes. Chennaiyin FC made some tactical changes in this match with Mendy starting at right-back as Nesta and Silvestre start in central defence and Dhanachandra Singh returned to left-back. Eric Djemba-Djemba in the central midfield with Denson and Khabra on either side of him with Elano supporting Jeje and Balwant up-top.

The game has got off to a rather slow start apart from the early Balwant chance and Hume’s earlier surge on the left. Jeje wasted a brilliant opportunity early in the game when a magnificent through ball from Bernard Mendy sets Jeje free inside the box, Jeje takes a touch and had made a brilliant run to go one-on-one with the keeper but the striker’s effort is weak and easily gathered by Nandy.

Chennaiyin FC were not able to see much of the possession and that has resulted in a little frustration pouring out as Djemba-Djemba brings down Pulga and picks up the first booking of the match.

Ian Hume takes a free-kick in 26th minute as he delivers the ball inside the box Jamie McAllister heads it and the ball finds the net but he was offside.

In the next minute, Ishfaq Ahmed scores a brilliant goal to give the hosts Kerala Blasters early lead soon after the goal was denied in previous minute. Pulga did extremely well to break through and find Isfaq Ahmed inside the 18-yard box and the midfielder takes a right-footed shot to beat Bracigliano and the ball lands in the left bottom corner. Ishfaq Ahmed removes his jersey in celebration and receives an yellow card.

Kerala Blasters make it 2-0 just in two minute after the first goal as skipper Iain scores. Nesta unable to clear Pearson’s cross from the left and the ball finds Ishfaq Ahmed, who manages to find Hume after the ball deflects off Denson. Hume wastes no time to slot it in from close range past Bracigliano to double Kerala Blasters’ lead. That was quite unbelievable stuff from Kerala Blasters who at the start of the game were the lowest scorers in the league with only nine goals. Goal scorer Ishfaq Ahmed got stretchered off for a slight twisting of his right foot but he seemed fine as he got back on the pitch.

Kerala Blasters scored twice and have played some fantastic football to leave the visitors hapless in the first half. Both teams started attacking from the word go but it was the home side who got the breakthrough scoring two goals in succession. Chennaiyin FC too had their chances but Jeje and Balwant lacked the finishing touch.The likes of Denson and Khabra have found it hard to make an impact with Nesta too not looking that comfortable at the back.

Elano was replaced early in the second half with Bruno Pelissari,who should have played the game instead. Pelissari has shown great form while playing in for the injured Elano prior to this game with one of his defining moments came the last time Chennaiyin played Kerala in Kochi. It was Pelissari’s goal that handed the Chenniyin a 1-0 win to do the double over the Blasters.

Michael Chopra has been replaced by Andrew Barisic. Chopra hasn’t got a lot of playing time and he also has picked up a cramp in his calf and walks off the pitch.

Chennaiyin goalkeeper Bracigliano made some great double saves in 79th minute. Hume was found well by Barisic’s through ball as his cross back into the box was deflected and the shot was saved by the keeper. The ball rebounds over and Barisic heads it towards goal  but Bracigliano somehow goes back to push the ball away on the line.

Substitute Sushanth Mathew,who came in for the opening goal scorer Ishfaq Ahmed, scores an absolute belter of a goal to make it 3-0 for Kerala Blasters. Hume turns and plays the ball to Sushanth Mathew, who did well to turn in and fire in a curling left-footer and the ball goes straight into the top corner beyond the reach of Bracigliano.

Kerala Blasters will have massive advantage going into the second leg with 3-goal lead, while Chennaiyin will have an uphill task in the second leg with a 3-0 deficit to overturn.

 

STATS:

KERALA BLASTERS

 

CHENNAIYIN FC

49%

Possession

51%

8

Shots On Target

6

2

Offsides

1

4

Corners

5

12

Fouls

14

3

Yellow Cards

1

0

Red Cards

0

Man Of The Match: Ishfaq Ahmed

 

 

 

 

Picture Courtesy: IndianSuperLeague.Com

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