ArrayMargao (Goa): Kerala Blasters suffered another heart breaking loss as Bengaluru FC secured a hard-fought victory in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21, at the Fatorday Stadium here on Sunday.
With a 4-2 loss, the Blasters are wary of their future in the tournament as they are now trailing at ninth place in the point table where only Odisha and East Bengal behind.
On Sunday, Bengaluru and Blasters were tied 1-1 at the break with Rahul K.P. giving Kerala Blasters a thrilling lead in the 17th minute. The Yellow Army's celebration lasted just 11 minutes as Cleiton Silva equalised for the 2018 champions in the 29th minute.
Bengaluru got a penalty early in the second half but captain Sunil Chhetri ended up chipping the ball straight into the hands of Kerala goalkeeper Albino Gomes as his attempted Panenka fell on its face.
However, Bengaluru then pounced on Kerala losing their shape at the back. Erik Paartalu turned in Aashique Kuruniyan's cross in the 51st minute and Dimas Delgado made it 3-1 in the 53rd as Kerala found themselves all at sea at the back.
Kibu Vicuna's side then responded well Jordan Murray scoring in the 61st minute to reduce the gap to one goal. Chhetri, however, restored the two-goal lead with an inch perfect header in the 65th minute off a cross from Harmanjot Khabra.
"It is difficult to see positive points now. We started well and scored two goals against Bengaluru - it is difficult to score goals against Bengaluru. But we received four goals so we are upset, we have a lot of work to do," said Vicuna after the match.
The Spanish boss gave an update on the replacement of injured midfielder Sergio Cidoncha and also suggested he is hopeful that their star Indian player Sahal Abdul Samad will be available for selection in their next match.
"We are trying to complete the team. We are working on it. Hopefully, he (Sahal Abdul Samad) is going to be available for the next game," said the former Legia Warsaw manager, according to Goal.com.
(Based on inputs from agencies)