Kerala Blasters ended Hyderabad FC’s unbeaten run in this season’s Indian Super League with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday. Dimitrios Diamantakos (‘18) scored the only goal of the game to take the Kerala Blasters to third place in the league.
Hyderabad FC were going to retain their place at the top of the table regardless of the result, and were heading into this tie on the back of four straight 1-0 victories. Kerala Blasters and Ivan Vukomanović are on the road to recovery with convincing wins in their last three matches after a slow start to the season.
Manolo Marquez made three changes to the Hyderabad FC line up after the win against Jamshedpur FC. Kerala Blasters were unchanged from their last win.
Hyderabad FC had most of the possession in the first half, but the away side were solid at the back, and limited the defending champions to half chances for most of the half.
Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC earned their first victory at home this season with a 3-1 win over Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
Petar Sliskovic broke the deadlock in the first half before Ishan Pandita equalised in the final quarter. Substitutes Vincy Baretto and Abdenasser El Khayati struck late for the Marina Machans as Jamshedpur notched up three consecutive losses for the first time since the 2020-21 season.
Both sides made four changes to their respective lineups. Anirudh Thapa, Rahim Ali and Jiteshwor Singh dropped out of the squad for the hosts, while El Khayati dropped to the bench. Vafa Hakhamaneshi returned in the heart of defence as Jockson Dhas, Sajal Bag, and Sourav Das were given their first starts.
Daniel Chukwu, Laldinpuia Pachuau, and Laldinliana Renthlei were all out injured for Jamshedpur, while Harry Sawyer dropped to the bench. Farukh Choudhary, Wellington Priori, Muhammed Uvais, and Pandita were all drafted into the starting lineup. The injury-riddled Red Miners were dealt another injury blow in the 16th minute when Priori was stretchered off.
The game burst into life in the final quarter of the match. In the 76th minute, Sawyer flicked the ball on with his head towards the box as Pandita met it with a well-struck volley to level the score. The lead did not last long as Chennaiyin substitutes - El Khayati and Baretto - combined in the very next minute to put the Marina Machans ahead again.