Bengaluru ride on Roy Krishna’s goal to defeat Kerala Blasters 1-0  

Simon Grayson looked ecstatic after Bengaluru beat Kerala Blasters 1-0

Bengaluru elongated their winning streak in the 2022-23 Indian Super League season to six matches as they beat Kerala Blasters 1-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. The win took them to the fifth spot as they now have 28 points from 18 matches. 

Bengaluru fielded themselves in a 3-5-2 formation with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu guarding the sticks. Sandesh Jhingan, Alan Costa, and Parag Shrivas formed the back three while Prabir Das and Naorem Roshan Singh played as the wing-backs. Bruno Ramires, Javier Hernandez, and Rohit Kumar played in the midfield feeding balls to Roy Krishna and Sivasakthi Narayanan. 

Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, played in a 4-4-2 formation. Prabhsukhan Singh Gill donned the sticks while Jessel Carneiro, Victor Mongil, Hormipam Ruivah, and Nishu Kumar played as the back four. Sahal Abdul Samad, Ivan Kalyuzhni, Jeakson Singh, and Rahul KP played as the four midfielders, with Dimitrios Diamantakos and Adrian Luna leading from the front. 

Alan Costa took the first shot of the game in the fourth minute when his free header off a Naorem Roshan Singh corner kick trickled past the crossbar. Six minutes later, it was Adrian Luna who found himself in a similar situation but his header off Jessel Carneiro’s chipped cross was inches above the post. Jessel was again in the thick of the action in the 16th minute when he swirled in a cross from the left flank. Diamantakos, however, failed to keep his shot on target. 

Javier Hernandez swung in a delicious cross from a free-kick in the 25th minute towards the second post but Sandesh Jhingan’s header struck the woodwork and Roy Krishna’s shot off the rebound was blocked by Ivan Kalyuzhni. 

Bengaluru kept on knocking on Kerala Blasters’ doors and was duly rewarded in the 32nd minute. Javier Hernandez drew three players towards him and slipped a pass towards Krishna at the right flank. The Fijian outmuscled Hormipam Ruivah and beat Prabhsukhan at the near post to score a goal. 

In the 40th minute, Javier Hernandez trapped Rohit Kumar’s long cross from the midfield but Prabhsukhan closed him down before the Spaniard could pull the trigger. 

In the second half, it was Sahal Abdul Samad who took the first shot but his effort sailed over the crossbar. Sahal unleashed a shot from outside the box in the 59th minute but Jhingan headed it towards Gurpreet who made the final save. 

Naorem Roshan Singh made a lung-bursting run through the left flank and tried to beat Prabhsukhan at the near post. However, the Kerala Blasters custodian palmed it away this time. Bryce Miranda’s looping cross towards the far post seemed to trouble Bengaluru in the 83rd minute but Gurpreet made the most of his frame to collect the ball. 

Jessel Carneiro swung in a cross in the 85th minute only for Alan Costa to miscue his clearance. Luckily for him, the ball sailed over the crossbar and didn’t trouble Gurpreet at all. 

Pablo Perez’s acrobatic effort in the second minute of added time stretched Prabhsukhan to the fullest as he kept away the low shot from bulging the back of the net. That turned out to be the final action of the match as the full-time scoreline remained 1-0. 

Marko Leskovic and Sandeep Singh’s injuries have troubled Kerala Blasters a lot as they have only two victories to their name from the last five matches. Courtesy of the splendid start in the first half of the tournament, they still occupy the third spot in the points table with 31 points from 18 games. They will square off against ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday. 

Bengaluru is on a dream run of late and has fixtures against league-leaders Mumbai City and Goa remaining at home. However, they can’t afford to lose their footing as only one point separates them and the sixth and seventh-placed teams.