Roshan Naorem scored a brilliant free-kick as Bengaluru FC ended Kerala Blasters FC’s ten-match unbeaten run in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) with a 1-0 victory at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Sunday.
The win lifted the Blues into the top four as they stretched their own unbeaten run to eight matches.
Roshan Naorem (56’) scored with a free-kick to net the only goal of the evening as the Blues walked away with the points.
Kerala Blasters FC were the brighter of the two teams in the opening exchanges but Bengaluru FC who have improved defensively in recent matches held firm to deny their opponents an early goal.
Bengaluru FC then created their first opening of the match in the 20th minute when Udanta Singh cut it back for Sunil Chhetri inside the box but the Blues captain let it run for Danish Farooq who was behind him in a better position to score. But the midfielder scuffed his shot as the chance went begging.
Four minutes later, Prince Ibara couldn’t keep his header from a Roshan Naorem corner on target as the Blues missed another opportunity.
The Blues again went close in the 37th minute after a mix-up in the Kerala Blasters FC box following a corner which Jorge Diaz hit straight at Chhetri. With the rebound heading goalwards, Nishu Kumar was alert to the danger and cleared it in time.
The Kerala Blasters FC defender then went close to opening the scoring at the other end when his shot from outside the area flew just past the post.
The two teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
Bengaluru FC though made the breakthrough eleven minutes into the second half as Roshan Naorem, the find of the season so far, curled in a free-kick past Prabhsukhan Gill to give Bengaluru FC the lead.
In the 69th minute, Harmanjot Khabra almost scored against his former side when he controlled a cross from an Adrian Luna free-kick and fired a shot that was well saved by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Two minutes later, Sandhu was called into action again when he saved from Luna who seemed destined to score after being found by Diaz inside the box.
The Blues then had a great chance to seal the win in the 80th minute when Udanta played in Cleiton Silva who timed his run perfectly but his shot went just wide of the far post.
The Blasters pushed for the equaliser but Bengaluru FC defended astutely to secure the win.
With the loss, Blasters remained in third spot, three behind leaders Hyderabad FC but having played a game less. The Blues have moved level on points with the Blasters but have played two games more.
Kerala Blasters FC return to action on Friday when they take on NorthEast United FC. Bengaluru FC face Jamshedpur FC in a crucial game on Saturday.
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