ISL: Birthday boy Silva scores winner for East Bengal against Kerala Blasters

East Bengal's Cleiton Silva (right) scored the solitary goal in the 77th minute against Kerala Blasters in the ISL in Kolkata on Friday. Photo: Twitter/ @KeralaBlasters

Kolkata: East Bengal FC registered their first-ever win over Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League (ISL) after Cleiton Silva scored the only goal of the game here on Friday.

The Brazilian, celebrating his 36th birthday, struck in the 77th minute as the Torch Bearers secured only their second win on home soil this season. East Bengal FC finished the game with 10 men after Mobashir Rahman was sent off in the 94th minute.

The hosts made four changes to their starting lineup. Ankit Mukherjee replaced the suspended Lalchungnunga, Sarthak Golui replaced Ivan Gonzalez in defence, Alex Lima came in for Jordan O'Doherty in the midfield, and up front, Jake Jervis made his debut alongside Cleiton Silva as Sumeet Passi dropped to the bench.

The visitors were content with their performance last week as Ivan Vukomanovic fielded an unchanged XI with new signing Danish Farooq on the bench.

The first opportunity of the match came in the seventh minute when Adrian Luna whipped a corner into the box and Rahul KP's free header was saved by Kamaljit and then kept off the line by Suhair VP.

In the very next minute, Rahul had another chance. This time Diamantakos cut the ball across the box into his path, but the winger struck it wide.

Three minutes from the break, Mahesh Singh's cross from the left flank was flicked on towards Suhair at the far post by Jervis. The winger slotted the ball in, but the goal was chalked off after the offside flag went up against Suhair.

In first-half stoppage time, the East Bengal FC players protested for a penalty moments after Karanjit Singh produced an incredible double save to deny Cleiton Silva. From the resulting corner, Suhair's glancing header went inches wide at the far post.

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