ISL 3 Semifinal 1st leg: Blasters edge past Delhi 1-0

Blasters edge past

Kerven Belfort’s second half strike ensured Kerala Blasters edge past the visitors by a solitary goal margin in the first leg of second semi final.

Blasters edge past

Belfort celebrates his second half goal.

In an even encounter Belfort’s strike after a solo magical run around the hour’s mark was the difference between the two sides as Kerala Blasters come out of their home leg of semifinal with a goal advantage.

The game began with end to end attacking football. The first chance of the match went for the visitors when Marcelinho found Malouda with a through ball however his shot was blocked and the loose ball fell for Kean whose shot was deflected away for corner. Soon from a counter the hosts had a golden chance when Belfort fed Vineeth on the right but the Indian striker’s final shot just went into the side netting

After the fierce opening exchange the game settled down as both teams taking their time in build up. Delhi’s potent attack seemed rather anonymous barring Marcelinho as Malouda was duly kept in check. Marcelinho constantly troubled the Blasters full Back Josu drawing him for three consecutive fouls within the space of few minutes while he was booked on the first occasion the referee decided to let off the left back with stern warning. Sensing the danger of going down to ten men Steve Coppell replaced Josu with Kadio at the half hour mark.

Five minutes later, Marcelinho almost scored the opener when he dribbled into the right side of the box before taking a shot at the near post which was well covered by Nandy. Minute before half time whistle, Belfort did well to get to the end of a cross inside the box before bundling the ball past Doblas, the Blaster forward set out to celebrate only to be flagged handballed by linesman.

Also Read: ISL 3 Semifinals leg 1: Delhi prepare for a stern Blasters test

Both the sides entered the tunnel with the score still at 0-0.  Second half began with the hosts dominating on possession but failed to make any lasting impression in the final third.

Finally in the 64th minute, Blasters took the lead on a counter. Belfort, after receiving the ball from Hengbart dribbled past Rocha and into the Delhi Box before shooting past Doblas to make it 1-0.

The goal sparked some momentum into the game as both side started attacking more. However it was Delhi who came closest when in the 74th minute, after a bit of scramble inside the Blasters box, Lewis found Marcelinho at the far post, the forwards header was denied a goal as Hengbart came up with a goal line clearance.

Delhi continued to attack in search of an equalizer while Kerala played on their counter attacks with both sides failing to finish off moves in the final third. In the final minute of normal time, drama ensued when Marcelinho went down under Jhingan’s challenge in the box but as the referee waved off claims for a penalty, ruckus ensued with Gadze ending up being booked.

The game ended at 1-0 score line in favour of the hosts as the visitors are left with lots of questions for the second leg

Kerala Blasters FC (Belfort 64’) 1 – 0 Delhi Dynamos FC

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