Kerala Blasters 1 win away from ISL semi-final berth
- Kerala defeated Pune 2-1 in ISL 2016 league match.
- With two games remaining, Kerala are just 1 win away from entering SF.
- Kerala next play Kolkata and NorthEast United.
Blasters, who were thrashed by Mumbai FC 0-5 in the last league match they played, now stand third on the points table with 18 points from 12 games.
Atletico de Kolkata, who also have 18 points, stand second due to a better goal difference.
Blasters now need only a win from their remaining two matches. Kerala will travel to Kolkata next to play ATK on Tuesday and return home to host NorthEast United on December 4.
Blasters, who were the runners' up in the inaugural edition of ISL, had a terrible season in 2015 where they managed to win only three matches out of 14 they had played and hence finished at the bottom of the table.
The hosts needed just seven minutes to tick on their goal chart. Their attacker, Duckens Nazon netted the opening goal before Anibal Zurdo of Pune equalised in the added time before the half-time whistle.
However, defender Aaron Hughes ensured Blasters sealed the game who scored the winner in the 57th minute to put Blasters 2-1 up and they eventually maintained the lead for the rest of the match.
Blasters received a corner in the 57th minute; Pune City only partially cleared that. Midfielder CK Vineeth chased it down on the left, sending a cross to the far post. The Pune defence shockingly stood still, allowing Aaron enough time to rush and head home from point blank range.
Pune tried to fight their way back, but Kerala were always in control of the proceedings. The pace of Kervens Belfort, Nazon and Vineeth was always going to be difficult for Pune City and it was in tune with the proceedings that Kerala enhanced their lead in the second session.