Kerala Blasters have won themselves a place in the finals after sinking Delhi Dynamo FC with two penalty kicks at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Delhi were leading 2-1 at the end of the 120 minutes, but as Blasters won the first leg 1-0, the teams were locked 2-2 on aggregate and were forced to a shootout. The Blasters won 3-0 after the hosts failed to convert any of their penalties, earning them a place in the second final in three years where they face Atletico de Kolkata on Sunday.
Goals came from the homeside in the 21st minute and 45+ from Marcelinho and Ruben Rocha, while Duckens Nazon scored in the 24th minute for the Blasters.
From the penalty spot Florent Malouda and Bruno Pelissari skied their shots while Memo saw his effort being parried by Nandy. On the other hand, only German’s spot-kick was kept out by Doblas while the trio of Josu Prieto, Kervens Belfort and Mohammed Rafique scored for the Blasters.
Blasters coach, former Manchester United manager, Steve Coppell congratulated his team after the match and thought they deserved to win.
“We deserved the victory for the kind of football we have played over the two legs. I like to play attacking football and tonight was no different. We opted for a 4-2-4 formation after the red card, but respect to Delhi Dynamos as they were able to defend so well with 10 players.”
Coppell was cautious of the danger that awaits them in Kochi on Sunday, but sounded optimistic about their chances of taking revenge for their 2014 final defeat.
“Atletico de Kolkata made nine changes in their squad for the second leg of their semifinal and that shows their squad depth. We are pumped up after today’s win and hopefully we will be able to defeat them in front of our home crowd in the final.”