ISL: Kerala, Kolkata share the spoil | Chances of making the cut is all but over

Dimitar Berbatov of Kerala Blasters FC scores against ATK in Kolkata on Thursday Photo courtesy: ISL

Kokata, Feb 8: Kerala and Kolkata shared the spoil in a 2-2 draw encounter, so did their chances of making their cut into the last four, in the Hero Indian Super League football, at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on Thursday.

Kerala have 21 points from 15 games, with three more matches to be played. While, defending champions ATK Kolkata have logged in 13 points in their 14 games, but their chances of making the cut has drifted away after this game.

Bengaluru FC are leading the table with run away 30 points followed by FC Pune City and Chennai with 25 and 23 points respectively. Late comers. Jamshedpur who have scored stunning wins in the second half of the league, along with FC Goa are the other main contender of making it to the knock-out. Kolkata have displaced FC Goa from the sixth spot with 21 points compared to FC Goa’s 20, but the later played three extra matches which gives them advantage.

It was Bulgarian football legend Dimitar Berbatov who scored his first goal for Kerala Blasters, after Gudjon Baldvinsson put the side ahead in the 33rd minutes. But, goals by Ryan Taylor (38 minutes) and Tom Thorpe (75 minutes) nullified their leads.
The clash between last year’s finalists, now struggling in this edition of the Hero ISL, started tentatively and sprang to life only towards the later half of the first 45 minutes. Kerala Blasters were the first to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute as Baldvinsson found the mark.

Later in the second session, former Manchester United forward Berbatov who gave them the lead with his first goal of the season. It seemed like Berbatov’s goal would be enough for Kerala Blasters but ATK hit back with the equaliser in the 74th minute after going close on a couple of occasions.

Taylor’s corner was first cleared by the Kerala defence but the ball traveled back to the flank where Taylor sent in another measured cross which Thorpe did well to connect from inside a crowded goalmouth.