Iain Hume scores ISL hat-trick as Kerala Blasters FC beat Delhi Dynamos FC
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Iain Hume scores ISL hat-trick as Kerala Blasters FC beat Delhi Dynamos FC

Kerala Blasters FC registered their first Indian Super League (ISL) win under new manager David James against Delhi Dynamos FC on Wednesday courtesy of Iain Hume’s hat-trick in New Delhi.

football Updated: Jan 11, 2018 11:36 IST
Shayne Dias
Shayne Dias
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Super League,Kerala Blasters FC,Delhi Dynamos FC
Iain Hume celebrates scoring his hattrick for Kerala Blasters FC in an ISL match versus Delhi Dynamos at the Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. (ISL)

Delhi Dynamos came into their first home game of 2018 knowing they needed a win to keep any chances of making the Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs alive. But Kerala Blasters had other ideas and powered by Iain Hume’s hat-trick, handed the struggling Dynamos their seventh loss of the ISL 2017-18 season. (HIGHLIGHTS)

It was just the result new manager David James would have wanted and whilst the Dynamos in current form might not be the sternest of opponents, momentum is an important aspect in league football. This result is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Kochi-based franchise, something their vociferous fans made apparent at the end of the game.

For Delhi, the problems – especially in defence – just continue to grow. A fighting 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin FC in their previous game before this one seemed to indicate a shift in momentum, but this loss takes them right back to square one.

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Despite the loss, Delhi coach Miguel Angel Portugal was in no mood for criticism in the aftermath of the match, instead slamming the Blasters’ style of play.

“Kerala Blasters don’t play good football; it’s mostly long balls. I think Delhi Dynamos are a better footballing side. But Blasters took their chances better than us. We could have drawn or even won the game had we converted our chances,” he said in the post-match press conference.

David James was understandably a lot more upbeat, given that he recorded his first victory of the season. “I’m really happy with the result. What fans saw on the field today was we’ve been seeing in training all week,” said a beaming James after the game.

Despite their superiority in possession, Delhi conceded the first goal due to a simple defensive error. Courage Pekuson found himself in room and fired in a low cross, which was deflected goalwards by Gabriel Cichero. Hume got the last touch and rightfully claimed his first goal of the night.

Delhi continued to press on for an equalizer after the early goal but could not do much to threaten Subhashish Chowdhury in goal until the end of the first half.

Lallianzuala Chhangte won a free-kick on the left flank. Delhi played it quick and Romeo Fernandes fired in a good cross that was headed home by skipper Pritam Kotal. Delhi were back in the game right at the stroke of half-time.

Unfortunately for Delhi, that was as good as it got. Jerome Lumu could have put the home side in front early in the second half but scuffed his shot from Chhangte’s inch-perfect cross. It was a miss the home side would live to regret.

Unlike the Dynamos, Kerala were patient in their pursuit of a winner and their patience was rewarded in the 78th minute when Iain Hume put them in front with a wonderful effort from the edge of the box.

Hume would put the exclamation point on the victory just five minutes later with yet another well-placed shot in the bottom corner. The two goals were like a one-two knockout blow from which the Dynamos never recovered.

First Published: Jan 10, 2018 23:03 IST