Welcome to another exciting night from the Hero Indian Super League 2016. So we are ready with all the live scores and updates as we cover all the action. It should be a cracking contest as it’s the semi-final of ISL season 3 and Kerala will lock horns against Delhi at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
Kererala may have been strong at home winning five matches in a row but the worry will be their poor scoring record. They have scored just 13 goals so far, the joint fewest by any team along with FC Pune City and they will look to improve this section of their game.
On the other hand, Delhi Dynamos have been among the more exciting teams in ISL and coach Zambrotta can be expected to make it hard for their opponents, having kept three clean sheets away from home, a record which only Mumbai City FC (4) have managed to better.
In the matches played between the two sides in ISL-3 so far, Dynamos won one convincingly, with the other ending in a draw. An away win, or even a draw, will set it up nicely for Dynamos, who have played fluent football through the league phase.
The team has been well-captained by marquee player Florent Malouda, who has played a crucial role in the midfield, notching up three goals and five assists in his 14 appearances. The captain has helped his side maintain a clean slate at home.
Delhi Dynamos enjoyed a good run of form in the league stage as they scored 27 goals in 14 matches, while Kerala Blasters were able to recover from a poor start to the competition and thanks to five consecutive victories at home, they finished in the second spot with 22 points.
In first 10min of play,Kerala have a strong defence, while Delhi’s attack has taken apart a number opf sides, could very well be a case of defence vs attack today. Kerala Blasters owner and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar will be in the stands while Liverpool great Ian Rush is present.
A free kick was taken by Kerala Blasters from a promising distance. Four players stood behind the ball, three of whom passed the ball around to the side of the ball and Hengbart then took the shot. It was a good move but Hengbart’s shot was devoid of any power. Good chance wasted by Kerala.
Florent Malouda fired in a free kick from the right and Rafi heade the ball towards goal. The ball is only a few inches above the bar.
Josu and Marcelinho are having a few battlers. Marcelinho already made sure that Josu got a yellow card and Josu may just consider himself lucky that he was nopt given a second one seconds later because of a tackle on Marcelionho. It was well inside the box and the referee intersetingly gave a free kick from just outside.
GREAT DEFENDING: Delhi’s free kick from the right is cleared out to Malouda who heads the ball back into Marcelinho lurking in the box, only for Azrack to clear.
A big call from Steve Coppell in 31 min of the play,as he hauls off Josu to be replaced by Boris Kadio. Probably the right decision, as Josu looked like he would get sent off sooner than later.
What a header when,Mehtab sends a peach of a cross from the left-wing corner and Nazon gets a header on goal with his back to goal. His effort narrowly flies past the far post with Doblas diving at full-stretch!
GOAL BUT NOT INCLUDED: Belfort took the ball and put into goal. It nestled inside the net and Kerala started celebrating. Belfort controls a ball from the right in the box with his arm, and slots the ball past Doblas into the net to send the crowd wild, only for the referee to pull the play back for offside.
HALF TIME: Kerala Blasters 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
During the start of 2nd half, The corner was taken by Kerala and cleared by the Delhi defence. But the referee blows the whistle and asks them to take it again after almost hald a minute. The corner is taken again and not much ciomes off it. Some verym questionabel decisions made by the referee in this match.
The crowd has now died down because of the lack of chances for Kerala or from Delhi in this second half. Delhi manager Gianluca Zambrotta will bne happy about this as Delhi is known for being extrememly clinical at home.
GOAL: Kerala Blasters 1-0 Delhi Dynamos (Belfort 64′)
Kerala have been threatening for some time now and Belfort was the man who brought them the result. He made his way into the box with some good dribbles. He had the keeper to beat after that and does it with aplomb. Kerala have the advantage. The Kerala fans don’t care a jot and raise the roof off the JN stadium! Kerala Blasters 1-0 Delhi Dynamos.
Delhi are pushing hard now. The ball was passed around in the box and finally, Marcelinho got his head to a lofted ball. It beat the goalkeeper but was cleared off the line by the heroic Hengbart.
Good defending from Hengbart as he slides in to block Malouda’s cross from the left. The French midfielder tries to take a short corner, but Hengbart clears again
Kerala Blastes bring on Michael Chopra. He has been away since November because of his injuries. Nazon is the man taken off. He had some difficulties staying onside today.
A good save from kerala when CK Vineeth runs clear on the right and shoots a fierce drive across goal that seems to have all of Kerala’s power behind it, only for Doblas to stick an arm out and make a crucial save.
90 min gone,Four minutes added on. The normally clinical Marcelinho has been rather quiet today. His only major contribution seems to be his role in gettin Kerala to make an early substitution.
During the injury time, Marcelinho is down on the ground after running into Boris Kadio and the Delhi bench charges out in anger. Bit misplaced that, as even though it was off the ball, there was barely anything there for the referee to even concern himself with.
Kerala blasters (1-0) Delhi dynamos
45% ball possession 55%
7 shots 9
16 fouls 10
7 corners 7
FULL TIME: Kerala Blasters 1-0 Delhi Dynamos
Kerala Blasters were being unprofessional at the end of the first half and now its Delhi Dynamos. Marcelinho had gone down in the box just before the full time whistle and the referee didn’t give a penalty which seems to be the bone of contention. Zambrotta comes out to pull away his players. The referee hasn’t had the best of games but as professional football players, both sides should be respecting his decision at the end of the day instead of hounding him after the match. An Ugly scenes at the end as both sides get into a brawl.
#Hero of the match: Credic hengbart