Kerala Blasters beat Delhi Dynamos 2-1 at home in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter on Saturday evening. Debutant Deependra Negi and Iain Hume were on target for the Blasters to seal full points. Kalu Uche scored the only goal for the visitors.
David James made three unexpected changes to his lineup that lost to FC Goa, with young forward Prashanth Karuthadathkuni getting a look-in as he made his first start for the club. Subashish Chowdhury replaced Paul Rachubka in goal and Karan Sawhney came into the side in place of Siam Hanghal. New signing Gudjon Baldvinsson secured a place on the bench.
Seityasen, Matias Mirabaje and Pratik Chowdhary came into Miguel Portugal's starting lineup against Blasters. Nandhakumar, Vinit Rai and Edu Moya were left out and Guyon Fernandes only made it to the bench as Kalu Uche lead the line for the visitors.
Delhi Dynamos started the game on the front foot but the first real chance fell to the hosts in the 12th minute. Pratik Chowdhary failed to get enough distance on his headed clearance off Courage Pekuson's cross into the box from the right. Milan Singh sent a venomous shot from outside the box that Arnab Das Sharma parried the ball into the path of Iain Hume who was offside when he tapped the ball into the net.
Pratik was at fault again when a poor pass towards his own goalkeeper was almost chased down by an alert CK Vineeth but Arnab came off his line in time to clear the ball away.
Delhi Dynamos were allowed space in midfield whenever they came forward. Kalu Uche's shot from inside the box was blocked by Sandesh Jhingan and the rebound fell to Matias Mirabaje whose dipping effort was tipped over the crossbar by a stretching Subhasish.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when Gabriel Cichero's diagonal allowed Seityasen to get the ball into the box. Prasanth, who had tracked back to defend, brought the forward down and the referee pointed towards the spot. Kalu Uche converted the resulting spot-kick to send The Lions into the lead.
Kerala Blasters equalised immediately after the restart. Former India U-17 captain Deependra Negi, who had come on as a half-time substitute in place of Karan Sawhney, connected to Jackichand Singh's corner-kick with his feet from inside the box to beat Arnab Das and make an immediate impact in his debut appearance for Blasters.
New signing, Gudjon Baldvinsson, replaced Prasanth in the 65th minute and showed glimpses of his quality immediately. But it was new recruit Deependa Negi who once again made the difference to give his side lead in the 75th minute.
The impressive midfielder's touch to control Hume's pass into the box was too quick for Pratik who clipped him to concede a penalty. Iain Hume stepped up and hit home the goal that made it 2-1 in favour of the home side.
Pratik Chowdhary picked up a second booking for his challenge on Baldvinsson to make things worse for Delhi Dynamos. The Men in Yellow kept the ball well in the dying stages of the game to record their fourth win of the season.