The match between FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters was played out at an electric pace, with FC Pune City emerging the victor of the encounter. Both sides managed by English managers meant the game had quite an English flavour with long balls and wingplays with all five goals coming from crosses.
Both FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters started the match in lightening pace but Kerala Blasters forward duo of Mohammed Rafi and Chris Dagnall combined between themselves to give Kerala Blasters the lead within 51 seconds of the match. Chris Dagnall made a run down the byline to cross for Md. Rafi, who makes no mistake to head it for goal, to score his third goal for the season
Having conceded an early goal, FC Pune City wanted a quick response and Kalu Uche nearly provided it on the eight minute when he managed to connect to Pritam Kotala s cross despite being under pressure from Sandesh Jhinigan.
FC Pune City looked like a team possessed and forced a save from Stephen Bywater on 12th minute when Didier Zokora had a go from distance. Pune City, though, didna t have to wait for much longer for the equaliser, as Uche made amends for missing his earlier chance.
The Stallions, on the 15th minute, went on the attack as Gurjinder Kumar blocked cross reaches Nicky Shorey whose looping cross was nodded in by Kalu Uche for the equaliser.
The Orange Army didna t need to wait for much longer as Uche slotted the ball sent in by Shorey with apolmb. Nicky Shorey, awarded the Hero of the match, had jinked past two Kerala defenders before cutting back for Uche on 23rd minute.
Having conceded their lead, Kerala Blaster produced an inspired attack on the 30th minute to level the score. Josua s cross was converted by Md. Rafi, as the header strikes both posts before going in.
With the scoreline 2-2, the tempo of the game slowed down but that didna t mean there werena t any chance for either side before the half time break. Rafi with a brace, had a glorious opportunity to take the lead after Steve Simonsen messed up a clearance under pressure from Dagnall.
The tempo in second half dropped down considerably, with both managers looking to play safe and cancel out on the individual errors. FC Pune City were the first to produce any real chance when Shoreya s freekick on the 53rd minute found Uche, who could only direct it straight at Stephen Bywater.
Kerala Blasters then went on the counter attack on the 55th minute but Josu having run across the field could only shoot wide. The match progressed with neither team gaining any further momentum until on the 73rd minute when Shoreya s cross from the left flank was nodded in by Tuncay Sanli for FC Pune Citya s third goal.
Kerala Blaster did increase their attack intent but not stop themselves from the fourth consecutive defeat in the second edition of the Hero Indian Super League.