Sports

ISL: Ogbeche’s brace helps Kerala register first win over Bengaluru FC

Kochi, FEB 15 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 2/15/2020 10:21:23 AM IST

Kerala Blasters triumphed over Bengaluru FC for the first time in six Indian Super League (ISL) meetings with a 2-1 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Saturday evening.

Bartholomew Ogbeche (45+3’, 72’) scored twice to complete a memorable comeback after Deshorn Brown (16’) put the visitors ahead early in the first half. 
Eelco Schattorie claimed that he knew how to beat Bengaluru before the match and in a bid to keep his word made two alterations to the starting line-up from the previous match with Messi Bouli and  Raju Gaikwad getting the nod ahead of Gianni Zuiverloon and Seityasen Singh. Whereas, his opposite number Carles Cuadrat also made two changes with Juanan and Ashique Kururniyan making way for Harmanjot Khabra and Nili Perdomo. 
In the first half, the goalkeepers at the two ends stole the limelight but for the wrong reasons. In the 16th minute, Bilal Khan came out of his line with little purpose which allowed Deshorn Brown to recover from a poor first touch and guide the ball into an empty net. 
While just seconds before half-time, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s howler allowed Kerala Blasters to equalize. Bartholomew Ogbeche had unleashed a venomous shot towards goal from and the India international’s poor technique let him down as the ball escaped his grip and nestled at the back of the net. 
Although Kerala were dominating possession, the better chances fell for Bengaluru. Minutes before the equalizer, Perdomo sent Udanta Singh through on goal and once again Bilal had surged forward with little imagination. Yet, the winger could not make the most of the situation and his hesitation allowed Gaikwad to sprint back and clear the danger. 
Udanta’s night ended earlier than usual as within five minutes in the second half, Cuadrat replaced him and brought on Kuruniyan.
Kerala were looking the more confident side and even the next significant chance fell for them when Sahal Samad had a crack at goal but saw his effort getting blocked by Nishu Kumar.  
In the 67th minute, Sandhu made amends for his earlier mistake when he parried away Halicharan Narzary’s screamer from outside the box, which looked destined to pierce the net. 
But three minutes later, Messi was pulled down inside the box by Serran and the referee had no qualms in pointing towards the spot. Ogbeche, who had already beaten Sandhu before, once again came out on top from the spot as he sent the keeper the wrong way and scored his 13th goal of the season. 
Bengaluru started pouring numbers forward in search of their equaliser but Vlatko Drobarov and Zuiverloon marshalled their defence to perfection to keep the scoreline unchanged.

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