The Blues went ahead in the first half but Puitea and Rahul KP came up with timely goals as Kerala Blasters FC registered their third win of the season.
Bengaluru FC started sprightly with Erik Paartalu showing some nice footwork before releasing a shot on target. The strike didn’t trouble Albino Gomes but it showed the team’s drive to get a victory.
The Blues got another shot but it was over the post as Suresh Singh Wangjam couldn’t get his technique right for the strike after a pass from Sunil Chhetri came his way. Kerala Blasters FC also had a missed opportunity as Costa Nhamoinesu directed his shot wide from close range.
A few minutes later, Sahal Abdul Samad pressed high and stole the ball from Fran Gonzalez’s feet. However, his decision to delay the final pass helped a Bengaluru FC defender to come across and force a weak shot at Gurpreet.
In the 24th minute, the Blues took the lead as Cleiton Silva found the back of the net with an acrobatic strike.
The ball came his way after a long throw-in from Rahul Bheke was defended poorly by Costa. Kerala Blasters FC, on their own, got a number of set-piece opportunities but the delivery was mostly poor to test the opposition.
After the cooling break, Bengaluru FC could have scored another goal as Udanta Singh came up with a testing low cross but Costa got a crucial deflection.
They had another opportunity through a free-kick but Sunil Chhetri’s fine strike was well saved by Albino Gomes.
In the second half, Gary Hooper tried to set-up Sahal Abdul Samad for a shot but Suresh Singh Wangjam came up with yet another interception.
After that early chance, there was a quiet period in the game as a harmless long strike from Erik Paartalu was the only talking point.
Out of nowhere, Kerala Blasters FC equalized in the 73rd minute through a debut ISL goal for Puitea. Hooper’s shot from close range was initially saved by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu but the goalkeeper went down in pain immediately.
With the Bengaluru FC players failing to react, Sandeep Singh crossed the ball into the six-yard box and Puitea took advantage to put the ball into an empty net.
The game turned on its head as Kerala Blasters FC came up with a number of promising attacks. At the same time, Bengaluru FC were denied a possible penalty when Sandeep Singh pushed Cleiton Silva to the ground.
Early on in stoppage time, an amazing long throw from Gurpreet found Kristian Opseth and the Norwegian passed the ball to substitute Leon Augustine. The young winger skipped past a few Kerala Blasters FC players but his shot wasn’t good enough to regain the lead.
Bengaluru FC were made to pay for that miss as Rahul KP beat Gurpreet after a quick counter-attack following a chaotic phase in the opposite box.
It could have very easily been Kerala Blasters FC who had to end up on the losing side as an acrobatic effort from Juanan struck the post and popped out.
This proved to be the last big chance for either side as Kerala Blasters FC beat their arch rivals for three important points.
ISL 2020-21, KBFC vs BFC: Who was the Hero of the Match?
Kerala Blasters FC winger Rahul KP was named as the ‘Hero of the Match’ for his match-winning strike pretty late in the game.
The 20-year-old showed a lot of composure to come up with a fine low strike to beat Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The goal came as redemption for the Thrissur-native missed a few decent chances earlier in the match. He also did well to take on a central role after Jordan Murray was taken off at half-time due to an injury.
By scoring his third ISL goal, Rahul KP will be looking to continue his upward curve in the remainder of the season.