ISL: Diamantakos's penalty helps Kerala Blasters beat Punjab FC 1-0

Diamantakos scored a penalty in the 51st minute

Dimitrios Diamantakos Dimitrios Diamantakos of Kerala Blasters scored the only goal of the game | Twitter

Dimitrios Diamantakos scored a penalty in the 51st minute to hand Kerala Blasters FC a win against strugglers Punjab FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday. Blasters found their rhythm in the second half after a dull 45 minutes that saw KBFC lacking creativity in the midfield despite dominating possession. 

The Kochi side was given a penalty at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium when Mohammed Aimen was fouled inside the box by Punjab FC defence. Aimen, who started alongside his twin brother Mohammed Azhar, pumped his fists in joy as the referee blew the whistle in his team's favour.

Diamantakos made no defence as he drilled the ball into the left side of the post, sending goalkeeper Chemzong the wrong way. Midfielder Vibin Mohan was also impressive for the away side, who was without their talismanic captain Adrian Luna. It was Mohan who fed Aimen with a sharp through ball that led to the penalty. He also made a few attempts at goal from long range.

The Blasters defence consisting the likes of Pritam Kotal, Milos Drincic and Marko Leskovic was tested the most in the final minutes of the game when the Punjab FC unleashed waves of all-out attack from either end. However, in-form custodian Sachin Suresh coordinated well with his defence line to deny the home side any chance to spoil his team's party.

The result meant KBFC stayed second in the ISL point table with 20 points from 10 games, while Punjab remained eleventh, only above Hyderabad FC, with 5 points from 10 games.

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