A sublime finish from Rilwan Hassan and a stunning volley from captain David Castaneda helped Hero I-League runners up Sreenidi Deccan Football Club cruise past Hero Indian Super League heavyweights Kerala Blasters FC 2-0 at the EMS Stadium, Kozhikode in a Group A clash at the Hero Super Cup today.
Sreenidi Deccan head coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto had stressed in the pre-match interaction that his side had everything to prove against the team from Kerala. And on the day they did so in style, kicking off with the same confidence which earned them a precious point against Bengaluru FC in their opener.
Phalguni Singh, who was adjudged the Hero of The Match today, played as an anchor in the Sreenidi midfield, controlling the pace of the game and it was he who started the move for their 1st goal in the 17th minute. The midfielder ran a few metres with the ball before passing it on to Rilwan Hassan. The former Midtjylland player cut inside and beat his marker before letting loose a low shot to the far post to give his side the lead.
Sreenidi thoroughly deserved their lead, having been the more innovative side for the opening period. Kerala Blasters, in sharp contrast, looked flat in the absence of their talisman, Adrian Luna. For them, worse was to follow.
Sreenidi captain David Castaneda made it 2-0 just before half time. Hassan was the one to start the move this time, passing the ball wide out to Dinesh Singh on the left flank. The left back whipped in a curling cross inside the penalty box. While the ball had the requisite venom, it required some more individual brilliance to result in a goal.
Castaneda provided it, rising high and volleying the ball while in mid-air, into the top corner. It may well prove to be the goal of the tournament.
Kerala Blasters tried their best to put together a comeback in the second half, but lacked a cutting edge up front.
Sreenidi goalkeeper Aryan Lamba was called into action in the 68th minute, his fingers deflecting the ball onto the post to deny Mark Leskovic's header.
The result meant that Sreenidi could secure a spot in the semi-finals if they register a win against Hero I-League champions RoundGlass Punjab FC in their final group game.