Ivan Kaliuzhnyi scores a stunner! Kerala Blasters 3-1 East Bengal winners, losers and ratings

Ivan Kaliuzhnyi Kerala Blasters ISL Media

Adrian Luna opened the scoring before super-sub and new signing Ivan Kaliuzhnyi struck a double for Kerala Blasters against East Bengal on the opening day of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season.

Stephen Constantine's Red and Golds lineup failed to impress for large periods of the game. While the first half ended goalless, the Yellow Army was able to carve open the Kolkata-based club's defence and race to a 3-1 victory.

Blasters, who finished runners-up last season, will now face ATK Mohun Bagan on Sunday. Constantine will have some thinking to do before East Bengal take on FC Goa on October 12.

  • Adrian Luna Kerala Blasters 2022-23ISL Media

    The Winners

    Adrian Luna

    Adrian Luna opened the scoring for Kerala Blasters in front of home crowd. It was a terrific finish from a tight angle from an accurate long pass off the foot of Harmanjot Khabra. He was his usual energetic self when he was without the ball and gave the East Bengal full-backs plenty to think about.

    Ivan Kaliuzhnyi

    There's no better way to announce your Indian Super League arrival than by scoring two brilliantly-taken goals on the opening day of the season. And that's just what Ukranian striker Kaliuzhnyi did. First, he performed a solo ballet in front of the East Bengal defence to slot the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. Later, he unleashed a fiery strike from outside the box that was target-locked onto the goal net.

    Jessel Carneiro

    The Kerala Blasters captain did well to shut down and restrict activity on his flank and combined well with Adrian Luna whenever he ventured past the half way line. It was a good day at work for the Goan defender.

  • Kerala Blasters East Bengal clash ISL 9ISL

    The Losers

    East Bengal setup

    Stephen Constantine seemed to set up his team to defend. Often it looked like East Bengal could have pushed for a goal but it required a breakthrough goal by Adrian Lune for the Red and Golds to wake up in the final third.

    Wing play

    East Bengal were ineffective down the flanks, especially on Ankit Mukherjee's side. He struggled to contain his side of the pitch as Adrian Luna and Jessel Carneiro combined well to nail down the right approach to playing down the wings.

    Sumeet Passi

    There were many players who deserve criticism after East Bengal failed to impress in the season opener. Sumeet Passi's role and importance in the starting lineup is currently unclear after a poor display despite playing the full 90 minutes.

  • Ratings: Defence

    Kerala Blasters rating: 6/10

    Kerala Blasters were able to deal with whatever East Bengal managed to produce from their final third creativity. The only goal they let in was due to poor defending though - something Ivan Vukomanovic will have taken note of.

    East Bengal rating: 3/10

    It took an excellent long pass and a brilliant finish for Kerala Blasters to break the deadlock. However, the defence stood still and allowed Kaliuzhnyi to find his spot from inside the box for second goal of the day.

  • Midfield

    Kerala Blasters rating: 7/10

    Jeakson Singh and Puitea managed to keep their opponents in check whenever they threatened. Nothing absolutely extraordinary, but Blasters had gotten the job done in the middle of the park with 52 per cent of the ball over the 90 minutes.

    East Bengal rating: 5/10

    East Bengal weren't bossed out of the midfield but they struggled to connect their midfield to the final third.

  • Attack

    Kerala Blasters rating: 7/10

    Despite missing chances in the first half (and seeing a few shots saved by goalkeeper Kamaljit), the Blasters attack pushed for goals after the break. The intent was evident and it was rewarded.

    East Bengal rating: 3/10

    It never looked like Kerala Blasters' lead wound be under any threat in the second half. East Bengal's attack needs to improve and do better against FC Goa in order to get points on the board.