In a riveting ISL clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, on Wednesday, Kerala Blasters showcased resilience by staging a remarkable comeback to secure a 3-3 draw against Chennaiyin FC. Despite trailing by two goals in the first half, the Blasters demonstrated their fighting spirit, earning them the top spot on the points table with 17 points from eight matches.
Dimitrios Diamantakos played a pivotal role in the Blasters’ resurgence, netting a brace in the 11th minute (via a penalty) and the 59th minute. Kwame Pepreh also contributed to the comeback, scoring his first ISL goal in the 38th minute. However, the draw served as a wake-up call for the home side, exposing vulnerabilities in their defense that Chennaiyin adeptly exploited.
Chennaiyin’s Jordan Murray proved to be a thorn in the Blasters’ side, scoring twice in the 13th minute (penalty) and the 24th minute, with Rahim Ali initiating the scoring within the first minute of the contest. The visitors capitalized on defensive errors, a surprising turn given Blasters’ defensive prowess earlier in the season.
Chennaiyin took an early lead just 58 seconds into the match when Rahim Ali, orchestrated by Rafael Crivellaro’s set piece, outwitted the Blasters’ defense. Despite a penalty equalizer from Diamantakos, defensive lapses allowed Chennaiyin to regain the lead through Jordan Murray.
The Blasters fought back admirably in the second half, dominating proceedings and securing the deserved equalizer in the 59th minute. Diamantakos unleashed a powerful shot outside the box, finding the back of the net and leaving Chennaiyin’s goalkeeper, Dabjit Majumdar, with no chance.
In the dying moments, Blasters’ substitute Daisuke Sakai missed a golden opportunity to clinch victory, hitting his shot wide. The thrilling encounter showcased the unpredictable nature of ISL football, leaving fans on the edge of their seats throughout the match.