It all went horribly wrong for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL 2023-24) opener against Kerala Blasters here on Thursday. Two goals, which came when the Blues appeared distracted, saw the Blasters pull off a 2-1 victory and erase the bitter memories of the ISL walkout in the playoff against the same side last season.
The ISL season-10’s opening strike was an own-goal by Bengaluru’s Keziah Veendorp, and it came in the 52nd minute while Adrian Luna, who had a hand in the team’s opening goal, scored with a smart move in the 69th minute to double the lead as the packed Nehru stadium erupted in joy.
The game was played under a steady downpour, and after a dull opening half, it came alive in the second session.
AS IT HAPPENED: Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru FC Highlights
Shortly after the break, Blasters’ forward Kwame Peprah’s shot from outside the box was palmed over by Gurpreet Singh. And the Blasters took the lead with the following corner.
Bengaluru’s Dutch midfielder Veendorf tried to awkwardly shake off a Luna cross but only managed to put it in a goalmouth melee in the 52nd minute.
Luna’s goal came after a wily move shortly after the Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu kicked away an effort from Peprah. Slavko Damjanovic sent a back pass to Gurpreet.
The BFC keeper’s touch was heavy, and Luna, sensing an opportunity, charged in, dribbled the ball away from the goalkeeper’s legs and neatly sent it inside the empty net.
Bengaluru’s consolation goal, from substitute Curtis Main, came towards the end of the match, and the team came up with a few attempts after that but the Blaster’s defence and goalkeeper Sachin Suresh stayed steady.
Kerala Blasters (Keziah Veendorp 52-OG, Adrian Luna 69) bt Bengaluru FC 1 (Curtis Main 89)