Kerala Blasters FC brought Hyderabad FC's unbeaten run to an end and jumped to the top of the table with a 1-0 win in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.
Alvaro Vazquez’s 42nd minute goal eventually proved to be the winner as KBFC stretched their unbeaten streak to nine games, moving to the top of the points table with a better goal difference than Mumbai City FC, both being on 17 points from 10 games.
This is the first time that Kerala Blasters are top of the table in seven years.
Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, saw their eight-game unbeaten run come to an end as they dropped to the third in the table with 16 points from 10 matches.
HFC had a chance to take the lead early on when Edu Garcia's free-kick was deflected onto the crossbar by Prabhsukhan Gill after the ball was curled expertly over the wall.
Bartholomew Ogbeche of HFC was shown his fourth yellow card soon after, meaning he will miss the next match.
Kerala Blasters kept knocking on the door but HFC’s Kattimani pulled off a brilliant save in the 24th minute to deny Jorge Diaz.
As the match progressed, both teams tried to carve open a clear-cut chance before Vazquez helped Kerala Blasters nose ahead. A long throw-in was met by Sahal Abdul Samad who flicked it behind in the danger area where Vazquez struck a sweet volley to beat the keeper.
Hyderabad FC came close through Ogbeche on the cusp of half-time but the Nigerian shot wide.
In the second half, Hyderabad FC tried to up the ante but failed to muster any real opportunity in front of goal barring one, where KBFC skipper Jessel Carneiro kept his side in the lead with a goal line clearance.