ISL, Kerala Blasters vs FC Goa: Blasters drop points, again

KOCHI: Kerala Blasters was left to regret lost opportunities against a man of 10 FC Goa after the visitors attacked late to win a 2-2 draw, extending the winless race of the hosts to five ISL-6 games at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, on Sunday. It was a game that the Blasters could have easily won, but Lenny Rodrigues' goal in the discount time took away an invaluable victory. Sergio Cidoncha (second minute) and Messi Bouli (59 minutes) scored for Blasters, while Serigne Fall (41 minutes) and Lenny Rodrigues (90 + 2) scored for Goa.

An early goal by Cidoncha had set the pace for Blasters. Goa defender in Senegal, Serigne Fall, made a mess while clearing Raju Gaikwad's long shot into the area. The ball bounced after hitting Fall's body and fell kindly to Cidoncha at the edge of the area. The Spanish midfielder took the ball in half volley and passed it over Mohammed Nawaz to overtake the Blasters.

But Fall made amends for his mistake in the first half itself by scoring Goa’s equalizer. FC Goa won a freekick just outside the box after Vlatko Drobarov brought down Manvir Singh and Blasters defender earned a yellow card in his first ISL appearance. Eduardo Bedia, who kicked, went for the goal but only found the post. The ball fell before Jackichand singh and the dangerous cross of the former Blasters midfielder from the right corner to the far post passed Rehenesh through Fall.

Ferran Corominas missed his second consecutive game in colors of Goa due to an injury and the absence of Spanish was visible in the game of Goa. Both Manvir Singh and Brandon Fernandes , No. 9 and No. 10 for Goa had trouble overcoming Blasters' defense in the first half. Even with an exhausted back-four, Blasters did well and was determined enough to keep the Goan in control from the start.

The initial part of the second half turned out to be a nightmare for the visiting side. His defender Serigne Fall, whose mistake paved the way for Blasters' first goal, and one who then scored the draw, was sent off for a last-man challenge over Ogbeche in the 52nd minute.

Down a man, Goan defense struggled heavily as Blasters started attacking from all quarters. Eight minutes after Fall’s red-card, Blasters took the lead back with Messi Bouli scoring his first ISL goal in the 60th minute. Prasanth K sent in a fine ball into the center of the box and Messi’s first touch was enough to get the ball past Nawaz. Soon after taking the lead, Ogbeche spoiled another golden opportunity to extend the lead as he headed the ball out with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Ogbeche was ruining that missed opportunity when Rodrigues matched in the third minute of the time of the injury. Manvir did well to enter Blasters' box and took a shot that Rehenesh rejected. But the ball landed before Lenny, who with an easy effort ruined the night for local fans.