KERALA BLASTERS TOOK PART in a pre-season friendly match with Kerala United today, which the Kerala Premier League semi-finalists won by 1-0.
Kerala United, aka the Hornbills, were regarded as one of the best clubs in KPL 2020-21. They held eventual champions Gokulam Kerala FC to a 0-0 stalemate in the semi-final encounter before losing in the penalties.
For newly appointed Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, this match was an opportunity to provide preparation and game time to some of the ISL club's newest recruits. Both teams were allowed unlimited substitutions, which KBFC used to the fullest.
Although the match was held behind closed doors, there was an incident of pitch invasion before the match began, when a fan ran into the ground during KBFC's warm-up session.
But for KBFC fans who have been starved of action since the end of ISL, the match was streamed live on the club's official youtube channel.
The solitary goal of the game came towards the end of the first half. An attack from the left saw a KBFC defender clear an attempt at the goal. But the ball went straight to forward Bujair Valiyattu who was running in from the right. Having some space to himself, Bujair took aim and swung his right foot, finding the net in with precision.
Kerala Blasters did create multiple chances to get even but the Kerala United defence, which helped them achieve a +11 goal difference in KPL, held firm to grind out a victory.
For KBFC, however, the scoreline does not mean much. Next month they are about to take part in the prestigious Durand Cup for the very first time, and matches like this are perfect opportunities for them to try out different combinations and work the new & inexperienced players into the squad.