What a result for Kerala Blasters! The 1-0 win over Jamshedpur FC in the first leg of the ISL semifinals not only put them in the driver's seat but ended Jamshedpur's seven-match winning streak as well.
I watched the match at the Fan Park set up in front of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The entire area was a stunning sea of yellow as a carnival-like atmosphere engulfed Kaloor. Blasters did not let them down.
Head coach Ivan Ivanovich deserves all praise for bringing about this transformation. The spirit of Blasters' fans, who have stood firmly with their favourite team through thick and thin, also calls for applause.
Fittingly, the winning goal came off the boot of a Malayali player (Sahal Abdul Samad).
Luck was also on Blasters' side. Nigerian striker Daniel Cheema's two attempts were really close.
Going into the second leg of the semifinals, the pressure is on Jamshedpur FC.
(The writer is a former captain of the Indian football team)