Bengaluru FC's winless run in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) continued as they lost 2-1 to Kerala Blasters on Wednesday. Their last victory came against Odisha FC over a month ago.
Bengaluru FC took the lead through Cleiton Silva in the 24th minute at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. The Brazilian could have sealed the game for his team in the dying minutes when Erik Paartalu flicked Rahul Bheke's long throw-in towards his path.
Cleiton attempted a bicycle kick, but his effort hit the crossbar. What's more, Kerala Blasters scored the winner from the ensuing counter-attack.
Earlier in the second half, Leon Augustin cut past two players to dash into the penalty box. But he failed to connect properly as another chance went begging. Speaking on the missed opportunities, Bengaluru FC interim coach Naushad Moosa said:
"We could have scored more goals. We created a lot of scoring opportunities. If you see the second half as well, ball hitting the post, Leon (Augustin) came in and he went in well. But towards the end, we were not lucky. But yes, the boys were really trying and created a lot of scoring opportunities."
Kerala Blasters equalized in a controversial fashion. Gary Hooper's venomous shot from point-blank range struck Gurpreet Singh on the midriff. The goalkeeper was lying down on the pitch in apparent, and Lalthathanga Khawlhring took advantage of the situation by scoring for the Tuskers.
"If you see the goal that we conceded, Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu) was down. We thought that the referee will stop the game. But again, my defense should have cleared the ball. But the way they played today, I am very happy with them. They were very compact," Moosa further added.
"Sunil Chhetri was all over the pitch" - Bengaluru FC interim coach Naushad Moosa
Sunil Chhetri, who is usually deployed as a left-winger by Bengaluru FC, played as a center-forward against Kerala Blasters, with Udanta Singh partnering him upfront. Naushad Moosa was impressed with the 36-year-old's work rate and revealed why he was paired with Udanta.
"Sunil (Chhetri) was all over the pitch. He was giving his 100% throughout ninety minutes. He was working for the team as a leader. The idea was he and Udanta (Singh) will be two men upfront. Since they (Kerala Blasters) play high, Udanta will use his speed and Sunil will reach there at the end. Most of the time we were successful doing that. But, we were unlucky to not get a goal," Moosa concluded.
Bengaluru FC, who are seventh in the ISL table, are next scheduled to face Odisha FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao on Sunday.