Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller.
The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season witnessed an exhilarating match tonight at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, where Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC played a thrilling 3-3 draw, leaving no difference between the two sides.
The atmosphere was fantastic, equally entertaining, demanding action until the end, creating a vibrant environment in Kochi. Both teams lived up to the expectations, and the match began with a bang.
The duo of Rahim Ali and Jordan Murray, representing Chennaiyin FC, struggled with injury concerns before the game, and head coach Owen Coyle had commented in the pre-match press conference that both adversaries were fit to play in this match.
Coyle mentioned that playing an ISL match at Kerala Blasters‘ home ground is an event that inspires them to relive their glory days. As fate would have it, Rahim scored the 10th fastest goal in ISL history, finding the net in just 54 seconds, setting the tone for the game.
Rafael Crivellaro delivered a ball into the box, and Murray executed a back-flick, sending the ball behind the net after beating Rahim. The game entered an intense phase, with Dimitrios Diamantakos and Murray scoring in the 11th and 13th minutes, respectively, amid a fantastic welcome from the fans in Manjappada.
Ajit Kumar fouled Quame Peprah inside the box, resulting in a penalty for the home team. Murray, Kerala Blasters’ number 50, equalized just a minute later by bringing down Crivellaro. Interestingly, the Brazilian attacking midfielder also wears the number 50 for Chennaiyin FC! When Murray converted the penalty into a goal, there was no doubt, and he scored his team’s third goal just 11 minutes later.
Rahim opened up Kerala Blasters’ defense with a powerful shot, and Murray faced it head-on, leaving Sachin Suresh behind and giving the visiting team a shaky start against one of the most in-form teams in the tournament.
However, the Blasters and their captain Adrian Luna rallied to inspire a comeback. Luna, almost 30 yards away, pulled the trigger with a shot that was truly commendable. The ball collided with Peprah and spun, and with his left foot, he confidently put the ball into the net.
Incredible goals on a single night, why would Diamantakos step back? If his first goal was straightforward, the second was the one that literally lifted the entire stadium onto its feet. The Greek forward controlled the ball near Danish Farooq, and in the 59th minute, he unleashed a powerful shot with his left foot, bringing the Blasters level with Chennaiyin FC.
Despite three spectacular goals from both ends, ultimately, both sides had to settle for a one-point draw.
Key Performers of the Match:
Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters FC)
Diamantakos created three goal-scoring opportunities and scored twice, but it was his second strike, a break-taking nature, that secured the Blasters a point from the match. After facing suspension in the previous game, he returned to the forward XI and played this game like he was never away – fast and fabulous.
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