NorthEast United FC continued its disheartening run as 10-men Kerala Blasters FC handed them a crushing 2-1 defeat in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Friday evening. Jorge Pereyra Díaz, Álvaro Vázquez scored the two goals for Kerala Blasters and Mohammed Irshad scored the solitary goal for NEUFC. With this win, Kerala Blasters move to second in the points table with 23 points. NEUFC continue to languish at the bottom with 10 points from 16 matches.

The first half clearly belonged to the Highlanders and they looked like scoring on several occasions as well. However, they could not get past the Kerala keeper. Suhair VP was the standout player for NEUFC in the first half. Kerala Blasters too attempted a few off-target shots, which meant the match remained deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime. Kerala, however, looked a different side in the second half and played a very aggressive brand of football and Jorge Pereyra Díaz broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute. They seemed like securing an easy win but a red card for Kerala Blaster’s Ayush Adhikari gave a ray of hope to NEUFC.

The Highlanders, however, could not capitalise as Alvaro Vazquez scored a sensational goal in the 82nd minute and sealed the deal for The Blasters. Mohammed Irshad pulled one back for the Highlanders in stoppage time but it was already too late which meant NEUFC’s poor run continued this season. Alvaro Vazquez was adjudged the Hero of the Match award. NEUFC will next play ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday, February 12.

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