ISL 2017-18: Delhi Dynamos 1-3 Kerala Blasters - Iain Hume hat-trick consigns Miguel Portugal's men to fourth consecutive home loss
The veteran striker banged in three goals on the night to give David James his first victory in his second stint....

Iain Hume got off the mark in 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL) with a splendid hat-trick to give Kerala Blasters a 3-1 win over Delhi Dynamos at the JLN Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.

Hume's opener was cancelled out by Pritam Kotal at the stroke of half-time but the former ATK striker ran riot in the second half to complete a well-deserved hat-trick and seal three points for his team.

Miguel Angel Portugal made just one change to the starting XI that held Chennaiyin to a 2-2 draw with Venezuelan central defender Gabriel Cichero coming into the side for the injured Vinit Rai. David Nghaihte continued to lead the lineup top in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lallianzuala Chhangte slotting in behind him. Jeroen Lumu and Romeo Fernandes were deployed on either flank with Paulinho Dias and Edu Moya marshalling the midfield.

David James also made just the one change to the side which held Pune City to a 1-1 draw as new signing Keziron Kizito was given his first start with Mark Sifneos dropping to the bench. The visitors lined up in a similar 4-2-3-1 formation with Iain Hume returning to centre-forward position, supported by the trio of Jackichand Singh, Courage Pekuson and Dimitar Berbatov.

It was the home side that started the match on the front foot with Lallianzuala Chhangte threatening with his direct running style. The No.7 had a shot at goal after one of those runs but his effort sailed just over the bar.

It was the Blasters who would go ahead in the 12th minute after some great work by Courage Pekuson down the left flank. The Ghanaian left the Delhi defence in a tangle with a surging run down the left and supplied a great ball across the face of goal where Gabriel Cichero almost turned it into an own goal before being Hume bundled it in to get his name on the scoresheet.

Paulinho Dias had the chance to put the home side back on level terms almost instantly but his effort from the edge of the box was way off target.

Meanwhile, Pekuson, threatening on the left flank for James’ men, was giving Kotal a torrid time. Though the home side enjoyed decent possession they could not really carve out any clear goal-scoring chances in the first-half as the visitors settled into the tie comfortably.

Blasters were dealt a minor blow five minutes before the end of the first-half as Berbatov had to be taken off due to an injury with Mark Sifneos replacing the Bulgarian.

The Dynamos equalised at the stroke of half-time after Pritam Kotal’s glancing header from a Romeo Fernandes free-kick sneaked into the Kerala goal. There was heartbreak for the home-side just before the half-time whistle as goalkeeper Xabier Iruetaguena went down injured after a challenge from Mark Sifneos and had to be replaced by Arnab Das Sharma.

The visitors could have reclaimed their lead right at the start of the second period but Arnab Das Sharma did well to rush out and deny Sifneos after the Kerala forward had been released in behind the Delhi defence by Hume.

The Dynamos came close to a goal towards the hour-mark when Romeo was found by Kotal in acres of space but the winger’s effort crashed against the side-netting.

Portugal threw on Guyon Fernandez in place of Romeo as he searched for the winner and the move almost paid immediate dividends. David was fed through on goal but his effort was saved at point-blank range by Subhashish.

The visitors made Delhi pay for that mistake by snatching the lead in the 78th minute somewhat against the run of play after some brilliant individual work from Hume. The forward latched onto a throw-in down the left and ran directly towards the box before cutting inside to his right foot and unleashing an unstoppable low finish to the far-right corner for his second of the night.

He would have his hat-trick a few minutes later as he put the final nail in the coffin for the home side with a cool chipped finish over the onrushing Arnab after being sent through clean in behind the defence.

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Hume's three goals crushed Delhi Dynamos' hopes of getting back into the game and the home side were consigned to a fourth consecutive defeat at home. 



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