Mohammad Rafi and Kervens Belfort opened their goal-scoring accounts for the Kerala Blasters as the Steve Coppell side changed fortunes against FC Goa, defeating them 2-1. Winning in only one out of four games prior to this and conceding 10 goals, the Sachin Tendulkar owned-side needed a different approach and impetus to their game-play, which they brilliantly displayed on the pitch.
Kerala was the better team from the word go, with Kervens Belfort and Mohammad Rafi firing on all cylinders. FC Goa got the first goal of the game in the 24th minute against the tide of play, when Julio Cesar scored a thumping header past Sandip Nandy from a Richarlyson cross.
In the second half, it was all Kerala Blasters. The team started off brilliantly and won the game deservingly. Here, we take a look at the talking points of the highly attacking game.
#1 The return of Kervens Belfort added spark to Kerala Blasters
The 24-year-old Haitian adds a little more spark to the Kerala Blasters FC. Coming back into the starting line-up in the place of Duckens Nazon, Belfort showcased his abilities brilliantly on the pitch. With real speed and agility, Belfort started the game with steely defensive discipline, supporting left-back Josu Currais well. The Haitian grew into the game and looked in a different zone altogether.
Belfort made one of the finest runs seen in this edition of the ISL. In the 10th minute, Belfort picked the ball just near the half-line, turned and dribbled past four FC Goa players and shot, only to be saved by Subhashish Roy Chowdhury. Another layoff to Mohammad Rafi was one of the high points of the game, with the former Atletico de Kolkata striker volleying wide. The brilliant goal in the 84th minute just proved his credentials.
Belfort has started three games for the Blasters this ISL and the team looks different in the attacking half with his presence. Drifting in the center to create more spaces for Josu on the attacking front, Belfort looks a better fit than both Antonio German and Duckens Nazon for the Steve Coppell side.