East Bengal nets through Neville in the 94th minute, shares honours with the Kerala outfit
Kerala Blasters suffered a stoppage-time heartbreak as it was forced to a 1-1 draw by SC East Bengal in the Hero Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Friday.
Just when it looked like the Blasters would celebrate a third victory this season after a Jordan Murray goal shortly after the hour mark, came the East Bengal equaliser from Scott Neville from a corner kick in the fourth minute of injury time.
It was virtually a repeat of the previous meeting between the two teams, on December 20, which also ended 1-1. There was no change at the bottom in the 11-team ladder with East Bengal staying on ninth (11 points) and Blasters on 10th (10) after 11 games.
The young Sahal Abdul Samad played a lively game as Blasters appeared to control a major part of the first-half. And as the match progressed both sides had plenty of chances but there were also many occasions when the players gave away the ball cheaply.
Australian Murray, Blasters’ top scorer now with six goals, had a chance to score soon after the start but he shot straight to the goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar. But when he did strike, in the 63rd minute, there was plenty of drama.
It looked like a chest ball, a foot shot and a header all rolled into one as Murray found the target with two defenders desperately chasing him. The assist came from Blasters’ goalkeeper Albino Gomes, whose long shot from the box fell straight into Murray’s path.
And then, minutes after East Bengal’s Aaron Holloway messed up a fine chance to score, came the equaliser. It was virtually the last piece of action in the match and Neville scored with a fine header off Bright Enobakhare’s perfect corner.
Kerala Blasters FC 1 (Jordan Murray 63) drew with SC East Bengal 1 (Scott Neville 90+4).
Saturday’s match: Mumbai City FC vs Hyderabad FC, 7.30 p.m.