GUWAHATI, Oct 13 � It may not be termed as a super classic game but some brilliant individual skills were seen in the Hero Indian Super League match between North East United Football Club and Kerala Blasters Football Club where the home team made a flying start with a 1-0 victory riding on a 43rd minute goal by Spanish striker Sergio Contreras Pardo (Koke).
The football crazy people of North-eastern region today enjoyed almost every moment of the match as all the players tried their hearts out to take control on the ground.
All the foreign players, on the last leg of their professional career, showed their class.
The first session was keenly contested as both the teams adopted positive approach for striking first. Kerala skipper Nigerian Penn Orji was in fine form and controlled the midfield with his brilliant footwork and ball control. He initiated a couple of goal bound moves in the first session. In the 16th minute Kerala�s Iain Hume of Canada headed home but the goal was disallowed as he was in an off side position. CS Sabeeth tested the home team custodian Alexandros Tzorvas of Greece with a power packed drive in the 26th minute but the goal- keeper made a spectacular save diving full to his right.
Durga Boro�s shot from 40 yards in the 32nd minute was brilliantly saved by English goal keeper David Benjamin James. It was the first positive attempt at the Kerala goal. Spanish striker Sergio Contreras Pardo (Koke) beautifully anticipated a square from his English team mate James Keene and smartly deflected into goal in the 44th minute to give the home team 1-0 lead at the break. Keene and Koke were always on their toes and kept the Kerala defenders busy throughout the first session. But the home team finally managed to break the dead lock despite facing some dangerous situations.
Kerala defender James Reynolds was booked in the 43rd minute for rough tackling on Keene.
In the second session, substitute Micheal Chopra squandered atleast three easy sitters from close range. The result could have been in Kerala�s favour had Micheal not missed the opportunities. At the fag end of the match, Micheal even failed to put the ball into open net. Credit should be given to home team�s defender Robin Gurung who made a goalline save in the 83rd minute.