Goalkeeper Sachin was key to Blasters' win over Odisha: IM Vijayan

Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters rallied to down Odisha FC. File photo: indiansuperleague.com

A spirited performance, an incredible save and an outstanding goal! Kerala Blasters' 2-1 victory over Odisha FC in the Indian Super League on Friday can be summed up in one sentence. 

Heading into the match, it was all about head coach Ivan Vukomanovic who was getting ready to be back in the dugout after completing his 10-match ban. It was heartening to see the rousing welcome accorded to him by Blasters' loyal fans. The crowd's passion definitely rubbed off on the players as they too joined the party by playing their hearts out. 

I'm not talking about the changes in Blasters' line-up and formation. There was a newfound energy and confidence in their ranks with the return of the gaffer. The chinks in Blasters' armour were evident, but they looked like a team with a clear plan right from the beginning. 

The key moment in the match was the penalty save by goalkeeper Sachin Suresh when Blasters were trailing 0-1. If he had not saved Diego Mauricia’s spot kick and the rebound from Isak Vanlalruatfela in the 21st minute, it could have been tough for Blasters to make a comeback. Those double saves by the boy from Thrissur gave a new lease of life to the Yellow Brigade. 

The winning goal by Adrian Luna was an exceptional strike of pure class. Only an experienced striker could score such an amazing  goal. Overall, Blasters played as a cohesive unit and it was an entertaining exhibition from the Kochi-based side.

(The writer is a former captain of the Indian football team)

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