Kerala Blasters gave away the customary opening goal in their Indian Super League match, but this time they found a way to not only fashion an equaliser, but a winner as well to come away with a 2-1 victory over FC Pune City at the Balewadi Sports Complex.
Playing their fourth away match in their fourth ISL game, the Blasters, after picking up their first point in their last match against Atletico de Kolkata, made it three this time around courtesy a come-from behind victory.
David Trezeguet had put Pune City into the lead with a sumptuous strike early in the first half, before CS Sabeeth equalised for the Kerala Blasters just prior to halftime.
The Blasters came out on the attack in the second half, and got their due rewards with substitute Penn Orji striking on 65 minutes to give Kerala a much-needed win at the fourth time of asking.
The game started as expected in a Kerala Blasters game, with Sachin Tendulkar's side taking control of possession right from the off. Pune City due to the situation or design played on the counter-attack, looking to use those intelligent runs from the past master David Trezeguet.
The one thing that the Blasters haven't done this season, despite dominating games time and again, is score goals when they are on top and that proved to be the case yet again as Pune City struck with one of their few forays in the attacking third.
It was a clever freekick taken quickly by John Goossens, with the Dutchman finding Trezeguet in behind the sleeping Kerala Blaster defence.
It was a marginal offside call, but it went Pune City's way and Trezeguet showed just why he was one of the deadliest strikers in Europe not too long ago with a finish that made you stand up and applaud -- first time across David James' right hand and banged into the back of the net.
That 15th minute goal put the Blasters in a familiar position of having to chase the game – they have conceded the first goal in all four of their ISL matches -- but to their credit they did not panic, taking their time, knowing a chance or two will come soon enough,
Iain Hume had a decent opportunity to equalise, before the Canada international picked out a perfect through ball for Sabeeth to run onto. The Kerala striker got his strike off but it was blocked by the excellent Bruno Cirillo.
Off the ensuing corner, however, the Kerala Blasters equalised, as Cedric Hengbart rose high to head the ball towards goal, with Sabeeth turning it into the net from two yards on 41 minutes.
It was a goal that the Blasters richly deserved, and the away team built on that momentum in the second half, pinning Pune City into their own half in the first 25 minutes of the second 45.
There were a couple of "if only" moments, with Milagres Gonsalves coming close, before Hume forced a nice save from Arindam Bhattacharya, who had only come onto the pitch a few minutes before after an injury to Pune's first-choice goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi.
If a third goal of the game was going to come it looked like coming from the team in yellow, and right on cue, Penn Orji, left on the bench at the start this time, came on to make the best possible impact.
It was some quick thinking again that created the goal, this time from the Blasters, as Milagres fired a quick throw-in for Hume, who stormed down the right before picking out a perfect ball for Orji to delightfully place into the bottom right-hand corner.
Hit by that goal, Pune City finally showed some desire to get forward consistently, and poured into the Blasters' half, with Trezeguet looking to make a nuisance of himself again to the Kerala back-four.
However, that goal would not come as the Blasters' defence held form to help them to their first win in the ISL.