Despite going ahead in the 5th minute Kerala Blasters lost their plot yet again on Sunday against FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League and went on to lose by conceding five goals.
The Guars inspired by Reinaldoa s hat trick were merciless as they took full advantage of struggling Kerala Blasters, who collapsed in the second half, to confirm their spot in the semi-finals of the Hero Indian Super League. Kerala Blasters made three changes to their side that saw goalkeeper Stephen Bywater return to the starting lineup alongside Peter Carvalho and Mohammed Rafi, while FC Goa dropped Dudu and Raju Gaikwad in favour of Joffre and Debabrata Roy.
Kerala Blasters throughout the season have made a bright start, but have miraculously failed to defend their lead and the match against FC Goa proved to be no different. Pulga gave Kerala Blaster the lead in the second minute as his first time shot punished the Guars from Antonio Germana s cross.
The changes in FC Goa lineup soon took their effect as Joffre, who returned to the lineup, grabbed the equalizer on the 12th minute after Reinaldoa s pass set him with an one-on-one opportunity. Kerala Blasters can rue their luck after they had an appeal for a penalty turned down in the 15th minute when Gregory Arnolin took out Rafi and despite replays showing contact between the players, the referee refused to award a penalty.
Antonio German was brilliant for Kerala Blaster during the opening spell but the Guars soon negated his threat and went on to grab the lead. Mandar Rao Dessai and Leo Moura combined well on the 29th minute, before the Braziliana s midfield splitting pass found Reinaldo, who made no mistake in pitting it past Stephen Bywater. FC Goa from there on didna t look back and confirmed their spot in the semi-finals.
Both teams had their chances in the first half but neither team could take advantage of their opponents but Kerala Blasters key midfielder Josu was sent off just before the half time for punching Joffre.
The Guars then took advantage of their numerical superiority, as they pumped three quick goals in the second half. Reinaldo scored his second of the night in the 50th minute when he converted Mandara s cross and then completed his hat-trick with an easy tap in on the 61st minute. Mandar then went on to score the fifth goal for the Guars in 64th minute with Leo Moura once again grabbing the assist with a perfectly timed ball to pick up Mandar.
After their 14-minute blitzkrieg spell, FC Goa slowed down the tempo of the game considerably to seal the game and book their spot in the semifinals