Rahul KP’s injury-time goal handed Kerala Blasters a dramatic comeback 2-1 win over rivals Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, Goa on Wednesday.
An acrobatic first-half effort from Cleiton Silva (24’) handed Bengaluru the lead before substitute Lalthathanga Khawlhring netted an equaliser (73’). The game looked to be heading for a draw before Rahul scored a brilliant individual effort in injury time.
Despite starting the game better, Kibu Vicuna’s men lacked the final ball and was promptly punished by a Bengaluru goal that came arguably against the run of play.
Bengaluru punished Kerala for not making the most of their opportunities. Rahul Bheke’s long throw from the right was not properly dealt with by the Kerala defence and it fell to Cleiton, whose acrobatic volley gave Kerala keeper Albino Gomes no chance.
As was the case with the first half, it was Kerala who started the second period brighter. And similar to the first period, their failure to find that final pass meant that for all their bluster, they had nothing to show for it.
Kerala scotred the equaliser when Bengaluru keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu went down after using his body to block a powerful Gary Hooper shot from close range. Sandeep Singh fired the ball back into the box. After a melee, the ball finally broke free for Lalthathanga, who netted the equaliser.
After Bengaluru struck the post, a rapid counter-attack from the men in yellow saw Rahul sprint into the Bengaluru half. Instead of trying to find a teammate, he took the shot himself and succeeded in beating Gurpreet for a dramatic winner.