Kerala Blasters trump Bengaluru FC 2-1, as Rahul scores in added time

Lalthathanga Khawlhring-Kerala Blasters FC

It was an injury-time goal in the closing minutes of the match by Rahul KP which saved the match from becoming another 1-1 draw in tonight’s match of the Hero Indian Super League. After a series of draws in the league of late, today’s resolute fightback by the Kerala Blasters was indeed a gust of fresh wind.

Statistically speaking, it was Bengaluru FC that had an advantage. They had faced the Kerala Blasters 7 times and the Blues have won 5 of them. Even the last time they had faced each other, Bengaluru FC had won 4-2 at the Fatorda Stadium. However, the tale was different today. Even though Bengaluru FC seemed daunting at times, Kerala Blasters FC played better football overall in the match. 

In the initial stages, the Blues looked a little wary as the Blasters kept making impressive runs towards the goal. But surprisingly, the deadlock was broken by Bengaluru FC’s Cleiton Silva. A beautifully executed long throw-in from the right by Rahul Bheke beat everybody and Cleiton Silva claimed it in the far post. He made no mistake in converting it into a goal and giving his side the lead 24 minutes into the match.

Bengaluru FC looked good again as they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position, just before the half time whistle. Captain Sunil Chhetri curled in a free-kick from the edge of the box towards the far post and it took a superb save from Albino Gomes to keep the ball out. Sunil Chhetri could not believe it and neither could the rest of the Bengaluru FC camp, but the stellar save from Albino meant that the Blasters didn’t go into the second half two down.

The second half saw the Kerala Blasters FC attacking from the get-go and in the 73rd minute, they found their equaliser from the feet of their second-half substitute, Lalthathanga Khawlhring. Gary Hooper received a ball right in front of the goal and shot it towards the goal which hit goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on his chest and face. He went down dazed, and the ball dramatically went out rightward. Now Sandeep Singh tried to pass towards the middle of the pitch but it was intercepted and sent in by Hooper and Lalthathanga Khawlhring didn’t make a mistake in converting it into a goal. There were a couple of chances for both the teams but none of them could convert and it seemed as if the match was slated to be another entertaining but anticlimactic draw.

Then the match went into extra time, and all 5 minutes of it were the only chance for the teams to differentiate themselves from each other. The players went on an all-out attack mode and it was a winner from Kerala Blasters’ Rahul KP that ensured their victory. The Blues were denied once by the post but the Blasters converted their chance. Rahul KP made a scintillating run down the right flank and went into the box, beating defenders at will and fired in a shot which couldn’t be stopped by the goalkeeper. Rahul KP’s last moment heroics let Kerala Blasters FC have the win coming from behind. It was a thriller of a match in the Southern Derby, that we were glad we witnessed tonight.


Rahul KP won the Hero of the Match award for his amazing solo effort, the injury-time winning goal that saw home the Kerala Blasters FC and for his amazing assist in their first goal, Gary Hooper was awarded the DHL Winning Pass of the Match.

The Blasters would ride high to their next match against FC Goa on 23rd January. The Blues on the other hand would want to shrug off this loss and focus on their next game against a struggling Odisha FC on the 24th of January.