ISL: Chennaiyin beat Kerala Blasters 6-3 at the goal festival

KOCHI: An oversight of to moment can change the whole dynamic of to match. Kerala Blasters Goalkeeper TP Rehenesh could have understood what it means after his 6-3 loss in Indian Super League to Chennaiyin FC in Kochi on Saturday.

Rafael Crivellaro (39m, 45 + 1m), Nerijus Valskis (45m, 90 + 2m) and Lallianzuala Chhangte (59m, 80m) scored for Chennaiyin, while Blasters captain Bartholomew Ogbeche scored all three goals in the 48, 65 and 76 minutes

Blasters dominated the match until the 39th minute. Then came the twist. Receiving to backpass from one of the Blasters defenders, Rehenesh accidentally passed the ball straight to Chennaiyin’s Rafael Crivellaro ’s foot. The Italian midfielder’s only job was to play the ball back into the net to give to 1-0 lead for the visiting side. That goal lit up the fireworks and Kochi witnessed to goal rush after that.

Desperate for a draw, the Blasters stand-in Ishfaq Ahmed decided to play Zuiverloon upfront and dropped Jeakson Singh to defence. But young Jeakson struggled to mark ISL top scorer Nerijus Valskis and this gave the Lithuanian striker to lot of space up front. The result of this move came in the 45th minute as Valskis doubled the lead. He passed the ball to his fellow forward Rafael who gave the ball back to Valskis. The forward then blasted the ball past Rehenesh to make the score 2-0.

Conceding two quick goals affected Blasters’ defence badly and they were caught napping in the very next minute. Both Rafael and Valskis combined well to beat an offside trap to score their third goal in added time.

Blasters started the game on a positive note after the break and retired one three minutes after the start of the second half. Carneiro crossed the ball into the area and Ogbeche, who was not marked, scored with a sliding effort.

But their joy didn’t last long as another defensive error, this time from Raju Gaekwad, allowed the visitors to score their fourth goal. Raju tried to give to backpass to Rehenesh from the right corner flag. But his pass was too weak allowing Valskis to intercept. The striker laid the ball for Lalianzuala Chhangte who beat Rehenesh to help his team take to 4-1 lead.

Blasters tried to get back to the game and substituted defender Mohammed Rakip with an offensive player Sahal Abdul Samad in the 63rd minute. Two minutes later, Blasters and Ogbeche scored their second goal. Sergio Cidonche gave to clean pass to Ogbeche between two Chennaiyin defenders and Ogbeche’s right-foot shot from outside the box beat Vishal Kaith.

Ogbeche completed the first hat-trick of ISL-6 when Narzary crossed the ball into the box from the right and he jumped over Chennaiyin defender Masih Saighani to head it home and make it 4-3. But Chennaiyin regained their two-goal lead through Chhangte who scored his second goal with to powerful right-footer. The visitors extended the lead to 6-3 in injury time with Valskis scoring his second goal.

Blasters' chances of qualifying for the playoffs have gone down following the result and now they will have to win all their remaining matches and wait for the results of their rivals to qualify for the playoffs.