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    ISL highlights: Kerala Blasters move to third after 1-0 win over East Bengal

    Kerala Blasters breached the top-four positions after securing a narrow 1-0 win over East Bengal in their Indian Super League match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Monday.

    Kerala Blasters return to winning ways in ISL Kerala Blasters beat East Bengal today by an unanswered goal. This is the first victory of the Kerala Blasters against East Bengal. With this win it was up to the Blasters to get back to the top four.

    Today we had to make a lot of changes but the first half saw the dominance of the Kerala Blasters. But Kerala did not create good opportunities. In the 25th minute, Jackson’s header from a corner went into the hands of the East Bengal goalkeeper.

    After this, in the 28th minute, an attack came from the right wing of Kerala Blasters but the shot of the player did not reach the target. The Kerala Blasters created more chances in the second half and tried to win.

    The Kerala Blasters finally took the lead in the 49th minute from a corner. The locked corner bounced off the top of the East Bengal defense and headed Sipovic into the net. This was a great relief to the Kerala Blasters.

    Even after this, the Kerala Blasters did not return to their regular form but managed to secure victory. With this victory, Kerala Blasters returned to the top four. The Kerala Blasters finished third in the league with 26 points from 15 matches. The Kerala Blasters played one match less than Hyderabad, who topped the table with 29 points. East Bengal is still in 10th position.

    The Kerala Blasters’ 25 points in the 2017-18 season were the highest ever in a single season in the ISL. That is what has been overcome today. The Kerala Blasters came away with the most wins of six wins that season. After 15 matches in the league, Kerala Blasters are leading by 26 points. The Kerala Blasters still need to score points to secure the play-offs.

    Bosnian defender Enes Sipovic found the target off a second-half corner to secure the full quota of points for Blasters, which climbed to the third spot netting 26 points from 15 matches.

    The first half ended goalless as East Bengal defence stood firm in the face of relentless attacking from the Blasters. The latter hardly got a clear look at the goal as the East Bengal back-line stuck to its task, clearing almost all the opposition moves entering its box.

    Looking to regain the winning form after suffering a setback in the previous round, the Blasters enjoyed a greater share of ball possession but failed to produce the decisive finish in the striking zone.

    Having effectively neutralised the opposition offensives, East Bengal started searching the goal route midway through the action and got a fine scoring opportunity in the 42nd minute when Croatian forward Antonio Perosevic set up a nice cross on the Blasters goalmouth.

    The chance went abegging as the East Bengal forward Rahul Paswan failed to tap the ball into an open goal.

    Blasters managed to find the elusive goal almost immediately after the break from a set-piece situation in the 49th minute. The break came in a nice fashion as Puitea curled a corner deep into the East Bengal box where the towering Sipovic jumped above the opposition defenders to nod home the decisive lead.

    The goal brought big relief to the Blasters camp and Sipovic deservedly celebrated the achievement mimicking the protagonist of the hit movie ‘Pushpa’.

    East Bengal tried to get back into the match and found a couple of good chances which it failed to convert thanks to the alertness of the Blasters goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill.

    PosClubMWDLGDPoints
    1Hyderabad FC168532029
    2ATK Mohun Bagan 14752726
    3Kerala Blasters FC15753626
    4Jamshedpur FC14743825
    5Mumbai City FC15744625
    6Bengaluru FC16655623
    7Odisha FC16637-721
    8Chennaiyin FC16547-1119
    9FC Goa 16466-118
    10SC East Bengal17179-1610
    11NorthEast United FC 172411-1810

    The result: Kerala Blasters 1 (Sipovic 49) bt SC East Bengal 0

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