Kerala Blasters FC jumped to third place in the ISL table with a convincing 3-0 win over Chennaiyin FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, on Wednesday. The Blasters recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since January 2020 as they dominated the match, not allowing Chennaiyin to play freely.
Pereyra Diaz (9’) opened the scoring with an early goal before Sahal Abdul Samad (38’) scored for the second game running to make it 2-0. Eventually, Adrian Luna (79') added a third for the Blasters to complete a big win in the southern derby.
With Ivan Vukomanovic and Bozidar Bandovic in the dugouts, the game was a tactical battle from the outset. The Blasters bossed possession while Chennaiyin sat deep in their solid shape.
However, Blasters began finding openings and broke through in the 9th minute when Lalthathanga Khawlhring found Diaz with a clever lofted pass over the defence. The Argentine steadied himself before drilling his finish past the goalkeeper into the goal.
Chennaiyin FC responded well to going behind and was more aggressive in their approach. The Blasters had goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill to preserve their lead in the 24th minute when he saved from point-blank range from Germanpreet Singh who had done well to direct the corner goalwards with a header.
The Blasters then created an opportunity at the other end when Jorge Diaz headed wide from a cross from the right despite being completely unmarked inside the box three minutes later.
Chennaiyin FC squandered a big chance to equalise on the half-hour mark when Mirlan Murzaev sneaked in behind the Kerala Blasters FC defense to square it to Germanpreet who failed to keep his shot on target with pretty much the goal at his mercy.
There was no such problem for Kerala Blasters FC at the other end who doubled their lead in the 39th minute thanks to Sahal who was played in on goal after a poor goal kick from Vishal Kaith fell to a Kerala Blasters FC player. Sahal, who saw his first shot saved, converted on the second attempt.
The Blasters missed a chance to add a third just on the stroke of half-time when Sahal fed Alvaro Vazquez inside the Blasters half and the striker carried the ball to the box, switched to his right foot but despite being one-on-one with the goalkeeper fired it straight at him.
Blasters were full value for their first-half lead as Chennaiyin FC had it all to do.
Lukasz Gikiewicz and Salam Singh came on in the second half for Vladimir Koman and Lallianzuala Chhangte but it was the Blasters who created the first chance in the 51st minute when Jessel Carneiro smashed it against the woodwork from a Luna pass.
Chennaiyin FC showed better intent in the second half but couldn’t conjure up too many chances. Eventually, the Blasters secured the points when Luna fired in a third with a cracking strike from the edge of the box eleven minutes from time. The Chennaiyin FC players’ shoulders dropped after the third goal as the Blasters were able to close out the win.
With the defeat, Chennaiyin FC dropped to sixth place in the table. Bandovic’s men face Bengaluru FC next on December 30 in another southern derby. The Blasters are back in action on Sunday when they take on second-placed Jamshedpur FC.