ISL 2023-24 Opener: Bengaluru Stumbles, Kerala Triumphs

Bengaluru FC's debut in the 2023-24 Indian Super League (ISL) took a disastrous turn when they faced Kerala Blasters. The Thursday clash witnessed the Blues faltering as two untimely goals, seemingly born from their distraction, handed the Blasters a 2-1 victory. This triumph served as redemption for Kerala, erasing the painful memories of their playoff exit against Bengaluru in the previous season.
The curtain-raiser of ISL season 10 unfolded dramatically, with Bengaluru's Keziah Veendorp contributing an own-goal in the 52nd minute, setting the stage for Kerala's ascent. Adrian Luna, who played a pivotal role in the team's opening goal, showcased his skills with a cleverly executed strike in the 69th minute, igniting a wave of jubilation among the packed Nehru Stadium crowd.

The game played out amidst a persistent downpour, and after a lackluster first half, it burst into life during the second period. Shortly after the break, Kwame Peprah, a Blasters' forward, unleashed a shot from outside the box that was expertly denied by Gurpreet Singh, the Bengaluru goalkeeper. It was from the ensuing corner that the Blasters seized the lead.

Bengaluru's Dutch midfielder, Veendorf, made an unfortunate attempt to deal with Luna's cross, inadvertently steering the ball into a chaotic goalmouth scramble in the 52nd minute.

Luna's goal, on the other hand, showcased his cunning abilities. It occurred shortly after Bengaluru's goalkeeper, Gurpreet Sandhu, deflected an attempt from Peprah. Slavko Damjanovic then sent a back pass towards Gurpreet, whose touch proved heavy. Seizing the opportunity, Luna surged forward, deftly dribbled the ball past the goalkeeper's legs, and calmly slotted it into the unguarded net.

Bengaluru did manage to salvage some pride with a consolation goal, courtesy of substitute Curtis Main, in the closing stages of the match. Despite a few subsequent attempts, the Blasters' resolute defense, anchored by goalkeeper Sachin Suresh, held firm to secure their victory.

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