ISL | East Bengal punishes nine-man Kerala Blasters

ISL | East Bengal punishes nine-man Kerala Blasters

Call me for goals: Saul Crespo was lethal, finding the net twice on the night.
| Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

East Bengal FC defeated a nine-man Kerala Blasters 4-2 on a night when things went horribly wrong for the home side in the ISL at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

Shortly after taking the lead midway through the first half through a goal from Fedor Cernych who beat the EBFC goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh smartly, the Blasters – who were playing their last match at home in the league phase — appeared to be in nice flow. But things changed dramatically towards the end of the opening session.

First, Jeakson Singh was sent off with a second yellow and moments later, KBFC conceded a penalty in added time which Saul Crespo converted for the equaliser.

The Spaniard added one more from the middle of the box in the 71st minute to give EBFC the lead. A few minutes later, the Blasters were down to nine men when defender Naocha Singh was sent off with a red card for head-butting C.K. Aman.

Ten minutes later, Daisuke Sakai’s attempt to head away Naorem Mahesh’s shot slipped into his own net.

With the playoff berth confirmed on Tuesday night, after Odisha FC beat Punjab, KBFC replaced ISL’s leading scorer Dimitrios Diamantakos and Cernych early in the second half.

But the home side, which had beaten EBFC in their previous meeting in November, will be very unhappy with the way things went tonight.

The result: Kerala Blasters FC 2 (Fedor Cernych 24, Hijazi Maher 84-og) lost to East Bengal FC 4 (Saul Crespo 45+3-pen & 71, Naorem Mahesh 83 & 87).

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