Durand Cup: Delhi FC beat Kerala Blasters to enter maiden quarter finals, Blasters fail to qualify

Delhi FC started the game on a bright note as they drew out a couple of outstanding saves from the Blasters goalkeeper. The Blasters also looked to probe with set-pieces, but Lovepreet did well to punch the ball out.

Delhi FC (DFC) defeated the ISL giants Kerala Blasters in the final group stage game of the Durand Cup in Group C. Willis Plaza’s second-half strike helped DFC to their first-ever Durand Cup quarterfinal game at the Kalyani Stadium on Wednesday. After starting the game on a bright note as DFC tested the Blasters keeper in many ways possible during open play. Despite the constant pressure in attack from DFC, the Blasters had a reply to keep the game goalless.Β 

The introduction of Plaza off the bench came in the first half to help DFC continue the flow of momentum from where they had left off at. The Trinidadian international had almost made an instant impact as he managed to get away from three defenders in the box to get a shot away quickly which was blocked comfortably. The whistle was blown for halftime as the game remained goalless.Β 

DFC started the second half from where they left off to continue the pressure in attack. Just eight minutes into the second half saw the substitute Willis Plaza made this constant effort on goal count as he found the back of the net after bringing the ball down superbly and turning two defenders to find the bottom corner at the near post to put DFC up 1-0 in the 53rd minute. The was a must-win game for both sides to make it to the knockout stages in the tournament. The one goal was enough to separate the two sides as the Kerala Blasters finish at the bottom of Group C with 3 points. They managed to score just 1 goal in three games and have conceded 3. Delhi FC’s win has helped them to just edge it to finish 2nd in the group on 4 points ahead of the Indian Navy who also are on 3 points but are ahead of the Blasters on goals for. Bengaluru FC top the group with 7 points.

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