ISL 2023-24: Kerala Blasters Grab Pole Position with 1-0 Win over Hyderabad FC – News18

Published By: Ritayan Basu

Last Updated: November 26, 2023, 07:27 IST

ISL: Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC (FSDL)

Milos Drincic scored the only goal of the match as Kerala Blasters defeated Hyderabad FC 1-0 at home to go top of the Indian Super League table.

Kerala Blasters FC progressed to the top of the points table with a narrow 1-0 victory against Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi to round off the Saturday double header of Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24.

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic recently stated that the Tuskers have an obligation towards their home fans to give their 100% and more every time they step onto the field in Kochi. It’s safe to say that the players lived up to those expectations in this faceoff against Hyderabad FC, with a goal in the 41st minute by Miloš Drinčić helping them bag all points possible from their first fixture after the international break.

The resounding support that Kerala Blasters receive in Kochi was visible and how, when Drinčić tapped in an assist by Adrian Luna four minutes before the halftime break. The home side had won a corner, and they overloaded players upfront to find a breakthrough past the Hyderabad FC backline. Luna received a through ball inside the 18-yard box and he was quick to spot an onrushing Drinčić. The 24-year-old Montenegrin defender put the ball into the back of the net and helped Kerala Blasters head into the halftime high on confidence.

Hyderabad FC are dealing with challenges in their frontline this season, having scored only four times in seven matches this season now. Their major concerns come across in finishing off moves, as they went toe to toe in giving Kerala Blasters a run for their money even after trailing in the proceedings.

Jonathan Moya had a fantastic opportunity to get them ahead in the game even before Drinčić’s strike. At the tip of the attacking unit, Moya was responsible for efficiently optimising the opportunities that Hyderabad created. However, his headed effort failed to even test Sachin Suresh.

Unfortunately for them, no concrete chances came their way afterwards, with Kerala Blasters nearing doubling the lead. Drinčić had an opening to bag a brace after his strike, but that effort did not materialise. However, Vukomanovic will be pleased with the effort that Luna put in as well. Arguably the most impactful individual in the league thus far, the Uruguayan again notched a decisive assist as his team continues to rally behind the relentless efforts he keeps putting in one game after another.

Key Performer of the Match

Milos Drincic (Kerala Blasters FC)

With two tackles and four clearances, the defender recorded a 74% passing accuracy in addition to scoring the winner to cap off his best performance of the campaign so far.

What’s next for both teams?

Kerala Blasters will next host Chennaiyin FC on November 29 whereas Hyderabad FC will be squaring off against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar for their upcoming match on December 2.