Football

Indian Super League 2020 | NorthEast holds Blasters in a thriller

Pleased as punch: Idrissa Sylla, centre, celebrates scoring NEUFC’s equaliser.   | Photo Credit: ISL/Sportzpics

On a day when the Kerala government announced a two-day official mourning in honour of Diego Maradona, the State’s best-known football team — Kerala Blasters — tried hard to give something to cheer about for the fans, but did not quite succeed.

Blasters, however, picked up their first point of the ISL season thanks to a thrilling 2-2 draw with Northeast United at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, Goa. Kibu Vicuna’s boys would not be too pleased with that result, though, having led 2-0 at one point.

They seemed determined to put behind their disappointing start to the campaign, when they were beaten 1-0 by ATK Mohun Bagan six days ago.

After conceding a free-kick, from a potentially dangerous position in the second minute, Blasters hit right back and took the lead not long after.

In the fifth minute, a superb, curling free-kick into the box by Seityasen Singh found Sergio Cidoncha, who jumped above the Northeast defenders and headed the ball in. Some 18 minutes later, the Spaniard provided an excellent chance to Gary Hooper, who, however, messed it up.

But Hooper made amends from the spot in injury time. The penalty, awarded for Rakesh Pradhan’s challenge on Puitea, seemed a harsh one though.

The Northeast men came strongly back in the second half. They reduced the lead six minutes after the break through Kwesi Appiah, following a corner kick. But his joy turned into agony some 15 minutes later, as he wasted a penalty.

Idrissa Sylla, however, found the equaliser towards the end, giving the finishing touches to a splendid long ball from Gurjinder Kumar.

The result: Kerala Blasters 2 (Sergio Cidoncha 5, Gary Hooper 45+1-p) drew with Northeast United 2 (Kwesi Appiah 51, Idrissa Sylla 90).

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 8:08:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/indian-super-league-2020-northeast-holds-blasters-in-a-thriller/article33187830.ece

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