Punjab FC vs Kerala Blasters, In a thrilling encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, Punjab FC emerged victorious with a sensational 3-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24. The clash marked Punjab FC’s inaugural away win in the current ISL campaign, while Kerala Blasters FC faced their first home defeat of the season. Let’s delve into the highlights of this exciting match.
Home Side’s Early Dominance: Punjab FC vs Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters FC, backed by their passionate supporters, started the game on the front foot, creating key chances in the first half. Local talent Rahul KP had a golden opportunity to open the scoring but failed to convert a sublime delivery from Daiksuke Sakai, much to the disappointment of the home fans.
Milos Drincic’s Opener:
Despite Rahul KP’s missed chance, Kerala Blasters FC took the lead in the 39th minute through central defender Milos Drincic. Drincic capitalized on a hasty clearance by Punjab FC’s goalkeeper Ravi Kumar, slotting home a well-taken shot to give the home side the advantage.
Punjab FC’s Comeback:
Punjab FC, however, quickly turned the tide in their favor with striker Wilmar Jordan Gil leading the charge. Gil showcased his goal-scoring prowess by equalizing for Punjab FC in the 42nd minute, capitalizing on a pass from Madih Talal and beating the opposition goalkeeper with a clinical finish.
Wilmar Jordan Gil’s Brace:
Gil continued to torment the Kerala Blasters FC defense in the second half, scoring his second goal of the match in the 61st minute with another assist from Talal. The forward’s sharp striking skills and clinical finishing gave Punjab FC a commanding lead, leaving Kerala Blasters FC with an uphill task to mount a comeback.
Luka Majcen’s Penalty Seals the Win:
Any hopes of a Kerala Blasters FC comeback were dashed when Slovenian striker Luka Majcen converted a spot-kick in the 88th minute, extending Punjab FC’s lead and securing the victory. Despite Gil being substituted in the 75th minute, his impactful performance paved the way for Punjab FC’s historic away win.
Both Kerala Blasters FC and Punjab FC will shift their focus to their upcoming matches against Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC on February 15 and 16, respectively. The result of this match sets the stage for an intriguing continuation of the ISL season as both teams look to maintain their momentum and climb up the league standings.