Knockouts stakes simple as rivals Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC promise blockbuster clash

The much-awaited new knockout stage of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs will commence at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday, with Bengaluru FC locking horns with arch-rivals and last year’s runners-up Kerala Blasters FC.

There will be no margin for error as the winners will book a semi-final berth against Mumbai City FC while the season ends immediately for the losing team.

Riding on the back of eight consecutive wins in the Hero ISL league stage, Bengaluru FC will take the pitch with momentum in their favour. The Blues dropped no points in the league stage during this calendar year, and made a memorable comeback to book a spot in the playoffs, a streak which included a win against the Blasters.

Bengaluru FC faced the Blasters at home in the Hero ISL less than a month ago, where they held onto a one-goal lead to clinch all three points and a clean sheet. Sivasakthi Narayanan is in spectacular form ahead of this encounter. The youngster has scored six goals this season, all of which have come in the last eight games. (Club statistics)

“We are playing with confidence because we have been on such a good run. We have beaten some really good teams and will go into this game with really strong spirits, good confidence but no overconfidence,” said Grayson. “The performance against Kerala [Blasters] a few weeks ago was really good, and it helped us get to where we are now. But this is a different game, and the atmosphere will be electric,” he added.

Kerala Blasters FC will have to bounce back with aplomb if they want to take something away from a venue that has never been a happy hunting ground for them. The Blasters come into this game after losing all of their last three Hero ISL games. In their last five league games, the Blasters only won once.

The Blasters have lost all five away games they have played this calendar year, and are the playoff team with the most shaky scoring form ahead of the knockouts. They will have defender Marko Leskovic available for the next fixture, but it’s at the other end where head coach Ivan Vukomanovic will be looking for big improvements – and he suggested it doesn’t matter how the goals come. (Club statistics)

“It will be an interesting game. In the last game against Bengaluru not long ago, we had more possession, but in the end, we lost the game,” said Vukomanovic. “We have to find how to approach this game and how to win the game. We are in the knockout phase and nobody will care about what kind of football is played. Only the results will matter. We want to play the way we always play and want to be the dominant side,” he added.

In 12 Hero ISL meetings between the two sides, Bengaluru FC have won seven encounters, while Kerala Blasters FC have won thrice. The Blasters are yet to beat the Blues in their own backyard. 

Also Read: FC Goa star Anwar Ali wins Comeback of The Year in Sportstar Aces Awards 2023

Also Read: RoundGlass Punjab FC one win away from the title after win against Churchill Brothers

Somaiya FC announces trials for the upcoming 2024-25 Season

Somaiya FC, having secured a commendable 5th position in the MFA Super Division last season, has announced open trials as they gear up for upcoming season. The team, known for…


VR Academy to conduct trials for 2024-25 Season

Mumbai based VR Academy has announced trials for the upcoming 2024-25 season. The club is looking for talented young players to join our esteemed academy and participate in various competitive…


MH ORANJE FC U-17 Trials for the Upcoming Season

With a proud legacy of nurturing talent and achieving excellence, Maharashtra Oranje FC has recently made waves with appearances in I-League 2, securing a remarkable runner-up position in the fiercely…


Football School of India announce trials for Young Talents

Football School of India (FSI) has announced trials for young football enthusiasts in the upcoming week of June. A golden opportunity for aspiring players to showcase their talents and potentially…


MFA Super League club Charkop FC to conduct open trials for upcoming Season

Calling all aspiring football stars! Charkop FC, a MFA super division club based in Charkop, Kandivali, is set to conduct Open Trials for the upcoming season. About Charkop FC: In…


Mumbai 42 Football Academy to conduct trials for Youth players

Newly established Mumbai 42 Football Academy will be conducting trials for young footballers in the upcoming week.


SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…