Kerala Blasters ended Hyderabad’s unbeaten run in the Indian Premier League this season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the GMC Palayogi Sports Ground in Hyderabad on Saturday. Dimitrios Diamantakos (18) scored the only goal of the match to take Kerala Blasters to third place in the league.
Hyderabad FC would have held their place at the top of the table regardless of the outcome, and were heading into this tie on the back of four straight 1-0 wins. Kerala Blasters and Ivan Vukomanovic are on the way to bounce back with convincing wins in their last three games after a sluggish start to the season.
Manolo Marquez made three changes to Hyderabad FC’s squad after the win over Jamshedpur FC. Kerala Blasters are unchanged from their latest win.
Hyderabad FC had most of the possession in the first half, but the away side were solid at the back, limiting the reigning champions to half chances for most of the half.
Kerala Blasters took the lead thanks to some excellent work from Adrian Luna in the build-up to the goal in the 18th minute. The Uruguay found some space in the pockets, before playing an ambitious lofted pass into the path of the surging Nishu Kumar.
Hyderabad FC’s Anuj Kumar came out of his line to prevent the ball from reaching Nishu Kumar, but his push wasn’t strong enough, and it went straight into the path of Dimitrios Diamantakos, who fired the ball into the net.
Hyderabad FC’s best chance of the match came just before the half-time whistle blew. Bartholomew Ogbeche, the all-time leading goalscorer in Indian Football League history, didn’t get the correct connection with his header after finding himself free at the far post from a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.
The second half started with both teams looking a bit more open. Hyderabad FC were pushing the men forward and Kerala Blasters looked eager to score the second goal. But things settled down after the first ten minutes of the second half. Hyderabad FC kept pressing for the goal, but couldn’t create a great chance. Hyderabad Football Club’s lack of momentum in the final third could force Manolo Marquez to turn things around forward.
They will head to Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan next week to face ATK Mohun Bagan, while the Kerala Blasters will take on JRD Tata. sports Complex in Jamshedpur to face Jamshedpur FC.
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