Kerala Blasters got their season right back on track with a comprehensive 3-1 away victor over Delhi Dynamos. Ian Hume made his mark with a hat-trick to his name. He met David James’ expectations as he was started ahead of the top scorer, Mark Sifneos.
It was Delhi who started positively, keeping possession of the ball and some quick moves. Lallianzuala Chhangte was a delight to watch on the left hand side and he showed signs of coming back to form after going off colour since the first couple of matches. Chhangte alomost have Delhi the lead but his shot was off target. In the 12th minute Kerala posed their first threat of the game. Prison made a good run through the left side and with some shambolic defending at the back from Delhi, Hume tapped in his first of the tournament to give the visitors the lead. Kerala soon started to see a lot of the ball following the goal and pressed the Delhi defence. Later in the half, Delhi showed some good signs of equalizing, but lacked finishing in the final third. Romeo and Chhangte were looking sharp in the wings.
Kerala were forced to make a change before half time as Dimitar Berbatov hobbled off the field to make way for Mark Sifneos. Delhi’s moment came when they win a free-kick on the left side. Romeo’s beautiful delivery combined with a well timed run from an unmarked Pritam Kotal saw Delhi equalise just before half time. Delhi almost took the lead in the 58′ minute as Romeo hit the side netting after a superb final ball from Pritam Kotal. Suddenly it was end to end stuff from both sides as they looked to take the lead. Delhi took countered the Kerala defence and Chhangte was involved once again, but this time too, his touch when wide. Finally, in the 78th minute, Hume cut through the defences from the left Sending Paulinho and Rodrigues the wrong was to put his team into the lead. Three minutes later it was Hume once again as he chased a long ball and chipped it over the goalkeeper to double the lead and complete his hat-trick.
With this win, Kerala move to 6th in the table and back in contention for the play-off spot. With half the season remaining, every point will be important from now on to make it to the final 4. Delhi on the other hand continued to struggle and once again, it was their defence which let them down. Pritam Kotal, Chhangte and Romeo Fernandes were good for Delhi, but it was not a complete performance from the Delhi lads. They will now need a miracle if they are to make it to the Playoffs