Blasters hold Pune CityJanuary 5, 2018
Kerala Blasters earned a 1-1 draw against FC Pune City in the Hero ISL on Thursday.
Dutchman Markos Sifneos cancelled out Brazilian Marcelinho’s 33rd-minute strike in the 73th to grab a morale boosting draw for the home side and started David James’ tenure as the manager on a happy note.
After a pretty insipid performance in the first-half, during which it was overwhelmed by the visitor, the Blasters’s metamorphosis was stunning in the second.
The introduction of Ugandan midfielder Keziron Kizito for a lacklustre Dimitar Berbatov after the break turned out to be the game-changer. Kizito’s energy rubbed onto his teammates and Blasters shrugged off the indifferent form to put pressure on the rival.
The strategy of holding possession and slowing down the pace upset Pune’s rhythm. Blasters then worked the ball into the rival box using Pekuson’s pace on the right flank. Kizito attacked and won the balls in the midfield and fed the strikers upfront.
He set up Pekuson with a through ball and the Ghanian broke free on the right and his cutback from the near post saw Sifneos score his third goal of the season with a left-footer.
Pekuson was unlucky in the 88th minute when his left-footer beat goalkeeper Vishal Kaith only to miss the target narrowly.
Earlier, Marcelinho did a one-two with Mohammed Ashique at the edge of the box and then buried the ball into the net from close for Pune’s goal.
The result: Kerala Blasters 1 (Markos Sifneos 73) drew with FC Pune City 1 (Marcelinho 33).