Kerala's five-star race ends without victories in style
Kochi, January 5 () Kerala Blasters finished his career without winning 10 games in the Hero Indian Super League with a convincing 5-1 demolition of Hyderabad FC here on Sunday.
Bartholomew Ogbeche (33 ', 75') scored twice in a contest that saw visitors score the first game through Bobo (14 ').
Vlatko Drobarov (39 '), Raphael Messi Bouli (45') and Seityasen Singh (59 ') also managed to add to the dominant display of the hosts at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
It was the first time that the Kochi-based team scored five goals in an ISL game and the result takes them to seventh place in the table while Hyderabad continues at the bottom.
After a dull start in the game in which the teams struggled to create opportunities, Hyderabad FC took the lead using a midfield transition to a good effect in the 14th minute.
Bobo hit the ball in the center, passed to Abhishek Halder, who in turn freed Marcelinho in a wide space on the left flank. The Brazilian striker crossed the ball below the goal so that Bobo slipped between the centrals to hit the net.
With a midfield from Moustapha Gning and Jeakson Singh, Kerala struggled to impact the third attack initially after going back. The hosts, however, managed to return to the game after the 30-minute mark.
Gianni Zuiverloon marked his return to the first team after a layoff for injury with a brilliant direct pass to divide the defense. Ogbeche ran into space, passed by a running Laxmikant Kattimani and got into his house.
Kerala then completed the return of the first half in the 39th minute using an intelligent set-piece routine. With a free kick on the left flank, Jessel Carneiro played the ball to Jeakson, who in turn threw Seityasen Singh into space.
The Indian end shot a cross towards the far post where Vlatko Drobarov guided the ball towards the net.
Things changed as the game approached halftime with Kerala well up and turning out to be the best team. Messi knocked down a long ball from the depths, played wide for Halicharan Narzary, who crossed and found the striker's opportunity in the area. With the huge goal, the Cameroonian became short-range.
Awarding three goals in the space of twelve minutes had an effect on Hyderabad as they struggled to chain the passes after the restart. The likes of Marcelinho and Marko Stankovic could not return their team to the game and had a limited role to play.
Things changed from bad to worse for visitors when Carneiro found Seityasen free on the right in the 59th minute. The end dribbled towards the edge of the box and with no options to pass, fired a powerful shot towards the goal that found a way beyond the gloves of Kattimani. With Hyderabad staring at both ends of the field, Messi entered the area from the right flank, beat Matthew Kilgallon and scored the ball for an unmarked Ogbeche in the 75th minute. The striker hit home from close range when Kerala won a much-needed victory. AH AH