Kerala Blasters FC came from behind to register a 5-1 victory over Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday. The triumph marked Kerala’s first win in the Indian Super League since their opening day victory over ATK FC back in October and finally ended an unflattering run of nine games without a win.
After a nervy start, it was Hyderabad who drew first blood in the 14th minute. Marcelo Pereira was afforded room on the left flank and the Brazilian made the most out of it as he set up his countryman Bobo for the opening goal of the match. It was the latter’s 5th goal in his last four matches.
Kerala, despite dominating possession, had little joy in the opposition third in the first 30 minutes, with their only chance of note coming in form of a Messi Bouli long ranger which went straight to Hyderabad goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani. The narrative, however, changed once Rafael Lopez Gomez needed to go off after sustaining an injury just before the half-hour mark. In the 33rd minute. Gianni Zuiverloon played Bartholomew Ogbeche free with a defence-splitting through ball. The Kerala skipper cut past an advanced Kattimani and slotted home to restore parity. It was also Kerala’s 100th goal in the Hero ISL.
The home team started to look menacing following the equaliser and capitalized just six minutes later. The Hyderabad defence offered little resistance as Vlatko Drobarov tapped in a Seityasen cross following a well-worked set-piece routine. Just before the half-time whistle, Messi Bouli got into the act and made it 3-1 going into the break.
Following the restart, Kerala continued dominating possession and looked more likely to score of the two teams. Just before the hour mark, Seityasen made it 4-1. The midfielder fired in a powerful shot from the edge of the box, but it was straight at Kattimani. The Hyderabad custodian, however, failed to deal with the threat as the ball took a touch off him and ended up inside the goal.
Kerala weren’t done yet though. Ogbeche grabbed his second of the night from Messi’s cut back on the 74th minute. Hyderabad had a couple of chances late in the game to cut down the deficit but couldn’t quite make the best of these chances. The match eventually ended 5-1 in the home team’s favour.