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ISL 2023-24: Visually impaired BFC fan's cherishable moment with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu wins hearts - WATCH

Kerala Blasters FC is set to host Bengaluru FC in the opening fixture of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on September 21, Thursday.

football ISL 2023-24: Visually impaired BFC fan's cherishable moment with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu wins hearts - WATCH snt
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First Published Sep 21, 2023, 1:40 PM IST

Ahead of the opening fixture of Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC, a heartwarming moment between a visually impaired BFC fan and the team's goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has won the hearts of several football fans. Kerala Blasters FC is set to host Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on September 21, Thursday. This match marks the beginning of their journey to secure the coveted ISL title in the league's 10th edition.

In a video posted by Bengaluru FC on X, the team's goalkeeper can be seen sharing a few words with a visually impaired supporter at the training facility in Kochi. "All the feels at our training facility in Kochi earlier today, where our Guardian Gurpreet took time out to give Mahin Dileep, a visually impaired supporter, a moment to cherish," read the caption of the video.

Kerala Blasters FC vs Bengaluru FC: What's at stake?

Kerala Blasters FC faced the departure of their star midfielder, Sahal Abdul Samad, to the Mohun Bagan Super Giant during the summer transfer window. However, they strengthened their defense with the acquisition of Indian internationals, including Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das. The Manjappada (fans) will be relying on these reinforcements to meet the expectations of supporters in the opening match.

Bengaluru FC underwent significant changes during the summer, releasing high-profile first-team players like Udanta Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, and Roy Krishna. Head coach Simon Grayson hopes that the influx of fresh faces will seamlessly integrate into the team, aiming for a strong start in the league.

Key players:

Hormipan Ruivah (Kerala Blasters FC): Hormipan Ruivah, a 22-year-old industrious center-back, boasted an impressive 86% tackle success rate in the ISL 2022/23 season. He will play a pivotal role in the defensive strategies crafted by coach Vukomanovic.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, with 56 wins in the ISL for Bengaluru FC, stands as the second-most successful player for the club, trailing only behind Sunil Chhetri (57). In the absence of the skipper, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will aim to equal that record in the upcoming faceoff.

Head-to-Head

  • Played – 14
  • Bengaluru FC – 8
  • Kerala Blasters FC – 3
  • Draws - 3

The Blues (Bengaluru FC) have triumphed over Kerala Blasters FC in their last two ISL encounters, both times by a margin of 1-0.

Team Talk:

Kerala's latest signing, Pritam Kotal, expressed his excitement ahead of the match, highlighting the honor of playing for the yellow jersey in front of the enthusiastic fans. He conveyed his readiness to give his best for the team's victory and to strive for the coveted trophy.

Bengaluru's head coach, Simon Grayson, expressed his satisfaction with the squad's composition for the upcoming season. He emphasized the changes from the previous year, with several players departing and new faces, both foreign and Indian, joining the squad. Grayson emphasized the competition for places and the flexibility in selecting foreign players. He pledged to field a competitive team against the formidable Kerala Blasters.

Where to Watch:

The match between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC is scheduled to kick off at 8:00 PM on September 21, 2023, and will be broadcasted on Viacom18's channels. Fans across the country can enjoy the action in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Furthermore, FSDL's partnership with OneFootball ensures live streams and highlights of all matches in the 2023/24 season to be available in over 190 countries, making the ISL accessible to a global audience.

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