A solitary goal from Haitian international Kervens Belfort, secured a victory for Kerala Blasters’ in the first-leg of the Indian Super League semi-finals against Delhi Dynamos on Sunday, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
This has extended their streak of consecutive home wins to 6, but it was their first win at home over Dynamos in three years and in front of an almost packed stadium of 50,000 supporters.
Both sides entered the match looking to gain all three points and this was evident from the start with the visitors almost scoring in under a minute but Kean Lewis failed to convert. The following minute it was Blasters turn to cause a scare but in-form striker CK Vineeth failed to hit the target.
The Blasters’ rallied on with pace with the visitors struggling to contain the counters. They thought they had gone ahead in the 45th minute after Belfort put the ball in the back of the net, but the Haitian striker was adjudged to have handled the ball.
The first half ended with the hosts on a high and it was no surprise to see them score the opening goal in the 65th minute. Belfort had dribbled the ball past many Delhi defenders before slotting the ball home.
This spurred the visitors on and with a desperate need to equalise they moved forward with intent, they came close but Marcelinho’s header was cleared on the goal line by Cedric Hengbart.
Blasters’ coach Steve Coppell was pleased with the result.
“I am very pleased that we created opportunities and going forward it gives us optimism and Delhi are a good side and for us just to get our noses in front was important and another goal would have been great”.