John Abraham co-owned NorthEast United FC won their first Indian Super League match 1-0 against Sachin Tendulkar-
owned franchise Kerala Blasters in their first ISL encounter. Spanish striker Koke’s lone goal in the 45th minute turned out to be the difference between both the sides.
Koke scored the only goal to hand all three points to the Guwahati-based franchisee. With this win, NorthEast United FC will go second on the points table; however, that’s premature.
The first half was tight contest and Kerala were unlucky going behind in the last minute before the whistle blew, a fantastic effort made by United’s Koke that went past beyond David James.
Kerala Blasters played with Sabeeth and Iain, was almost a diamond formation for the team. They dominated most of the first 45 minutes as the Canadian striker Hume played at his favourite position of No.10 and did drop back to make some space. Penn Orji couldn’t help in defence but was a true playmaker for Kerela Blasters along with Hume. This allowed NorthEast United FC’s midfielders to dominate during the end of first half when Kerala players seemed a little helpless.
With Sachin Tendulkar being the co-owner of Kerala Blasters, they were boosted by some of the fans cheering for them which helped them make a lively start to the match. Kerala almost scored the first goal in the 16th minute as Humetapped shoot from close range but was rightly denied for being offiside. NorthEast United FC’s goalie Alexandros Tzorvas denied another opportunity to Kerela when Sabeeth came close to score for the away team.