Kerala Blasters and holders Mumbai City FC won their respective derbies on Saturday to keep Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 semi-final hopes alive. (More Football News)
On a busy day, Kerala Blasters blanked former champions Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in Vasco in the South Indian derby, while defending champions Mumbai beat FC Goa 2-0 in the Western derby in Panaji, Goa.
The results mean that Mumbai are fourth in the ISL table with 31 points from 18 matches, while Kerala are fifth with 30 points from an equal number of outings. Kerala and Mumbai meet on Wednesday in what could be a top-four showdown.
As things stand, Hyderabad FC lead the ISL table with 35 points from 18 matches. Jamshedpur FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are second and third with 34 and 31 points respectively. Both the sides have played 17 matches each.
Bengaluru FC also remain in the mix with 26 points from 18 matches. But they will need others to drop points.
At Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, returning to the side after serving a one-match suspension, scored a brace in the space of three second-half minutes (52nd, 55th) before Adrian Luna (90th) crowned Kerala Blasters' performance with a world-class goal from a free-kick.
Later in the night, goals from Mehtab Singh (35') and Diego Mauricio (86') sealed a relatively easy win for the champions against Gaurs at Athletic Stadium, Panaji.
Three-time champions ATK Mohun Bagan face Bengaluru on Sunday at Fatorda Stadium, Margao.
Chennaiyin FC, the winners in 2015 and 2018, are eighth in the ISL table with 20 points, while 2022 league stage winners FC Goa are ninth with 13 points. Both the teams have played 19 matches each.