Materazzi’s side books a spot in the semis
Kochi, November 30
Kerala Blasters FC suffered their first defeat on home side after losing 0-1 to Chennaiyin FC in an Indian Super Leagu (ISL) encounter in Kochi on Sunday evening. Bruno Pelissari’s 87th minute solo effort was enough to separate the two sides.Chennaiyin FC attacked the Kerala’s back line from the very start. Four minutes in, Hidalgo won possession and got in behind the defense. He didnt have many options inside the box though and his shot took a deflection off James and went behind for a corner.
In the 10th minute, Sandesh Jhinghan found CS Sabeeth on the right and the ball eventually fell for Iain Hume who wasted the opportunity with his scuffed shot.
Six minutes later, Bernard Mendy’s free-kick into the box creates a melee at the end of which the ball falls to Jeje. The Mizoram striker however, put his effort over the bar from a great position.
With 20 minutes played, Kerala suffered a set-back as David James was subbed for Sandip Nandy after he fell awkwardly when collecting a ball.
Mendy sent a long ball forward for Jeje four minutes later. Jhinghan had played the forward onside and he chested the ball before shooting on the volley but failed to keep his effort under the bar yet again.
Both sides struggled to impose themselves as the game was largely bogged down in midfield for the rest of the half. On the stroke of half-time, Denson sent in a cross from the right which Nandy came off his line to clear as Balwant was lurking.
Right at the start of the second period, the home team had an opportunity to break the deadlock. Pearson and Sabeeth combined to send Hume through on goal but with only Bracigliano to beat, the striker put his effort wide.
However, from then on the game once again descended into a midfield struggle as the two teams struggle to maintain any meaningful possession.
With a quarter of an hour left, Khabra was in a promising position when he received the ball on his left foot but only ened up lashing it wide.
Kerala had a few efforts at goal in the closing stages. First Romey’s shot from distance sailed over the bar before Pearson’s effort was collected comfortably by Bracigliano.
However, Bruno Pelissari stole all three points for the away side in the 87th minute. From a Kerala corner kick, Pelissari broke away on the counter, carrying the ball from his own half and driving at the opposition’s defense. Once inside the box, he steered his into the far corner.
Chennai could have gone further in front in injury time. Jayesh Rane was played onside by Jhinghan and had time and space to shoot from inside the box. However, he delayed his effort and allowed Jhinghan to intervene.