Delhi Dynamos are down in a dreadful dump at this stage of the Hero Indian Super League. They have played 9 matches so far, of which they have won just one against Chennai on October 25. Of the remaining eight matches, they have lost four and drawn four. The home crowd must have come to their wits end seeing their team either lose or draw in Delhi and in away games. Three days back, FC Goa came here and inflicted a 4-1 humiliating defeat to Delhi in scoring their biggest win in the ISL and yesterday it was the turn of Kerala Blasters FC, who jumped up several places in the points table at Delhi’s expense. Now, only 5 more league games are remaining for Delhi before the knock-out stage of the Hero Indian Super League, which begins on December 13. Unless Delhi gets into winning ways, the 2014 season will end for them on a sour note. In the 33rd game of the ISL, Kerala Blasters defeated Delhi Dynamos 1-0 and reached the third spot in the points table behind Chennaiyin FC. It is not that Delhi didn’t fight; they did but that was not enough. They need to score against their opponents to lift themselves up from the bottom position.
The first half started with both teams attempting to mount raids in each other’s territory. DD had better chances than KB but creating chances have no meaning if at least some of them cannot be converted into goals. Delhi’s marquee player Alessandro del Piero is still chasing his luck for his first goal of the Hero Indian Super League. In the 7th minute, Del Piero ran up and sent a ball to Shouvik on the left flank but Shouvik was immediately dispossessed. Three minutes later, Shouvik got another through ball from Mads Junker but Shouvik was ruled off-side. To Delhi’s credit, they made all the early openings but failed to capitalize on such chances. In the 18th minute, del Piero created another opportunity, when he passed the ball to Shylo, who, in turn, found Mulder on the edge of the box. But Mulder couldn’t control the strike as his shot went too wide. At the end of 30 minutes, both teams still appeared to be playing a waiting game. All initial raids by Kerala in the first half hour were cleared by Delhi defenders. In the 40th minute, del Peiro met with another disappointment, when his goal-ward header got deflected by DD’s own man Adil Khan and KB’s Cedric Hengbart headed the ball away to safety. This was truly the closest chance for DD after their marquee player was fed a nice cross from Junker. The first half ended at 0-0 without any promising moves from either side.
12 minutes into the second half, Penn Orji comes as a replacement for Raphael Romey for Kerela Blasters. In 58th minute, Kerala got a good chance, when Sabeeth shot into the goal but couldn’t control the strike as the ball missed the target. Two minutes later, Penn Orji proved his worth, when he put KB 1-0 ahead. Iain Hume had passed the ball to Orji from just outside the six-yard box and all that the Nigerian had to do was to squeeze the ball into the goal with his right leg. The Delhi goalkeeper dived but he was too late as the ball settled in the right bottom corner. This goal put Delhi under pressure and now they desperately tried to get back into the game by getting an equalizer. In the 75th minute, Delhi earned a free-kick but del Piero’s strike got deflected by the wall of players. In the meanwhile, KB tried to keep the ball with them to prevent any chances that DD might get with just few minutes remaining. Even after 5 minutes were added to the regulation time, Delhi couldn’t do anything and the match ended 1-0 in Kerala Blasters favor. For their next matches, FC Goa will play a home game against Atletico de Kolkata on November 21 while Delhi Dynamos go to Guwahati for an away game with NorthEast United FC on November 24.