Kerala Blasters beat the Indian Navy football team by a single goal in their 2021 Durand Cup opening match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Salt Lake, Kolkata, on Saturday.
Uruguayan midfielder Adrian Luna (71') scored the winner from the penalty spot to save the Indian Super League (ISL) side the blushes.
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The penalty was awarded after an erratic challenge inside the box by Navy’s Dalraj Singh, which was adjudged to be yellow-card worthy.
Adrian Luna stepped up for the responsibility and made no mistake in making it 1-0 for his side.
The match was far from over after the goal though. The Indian Navy players gave a tough fight to their illustrated ISL rivals. Navy could have drawn level on a couple of occasions at least before the final whistle.
On one occasion, Sreyas VG, who along with Dalraj had scored against Delhi, was denied by Blasters' goalkeeper Albino and the rebound was shot wide by PM Britto.
Navy won their opening clash 2-1 against Delhi FC but are now second in the group after the loss against Blasters.
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“We are happy with the three points. It was our idea of today’s game. It was really hard in these circumstances with the rain and the condition of the pitch. We wanted to finish the game without injuries but now we have to see how to recover some of our players, said Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanović after the game.
Vukomanovic's men can seal a quarterfinals spot should they beat ISL side Bengaluru FC in their next group match on Wednesday.
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