Life without midfield magician Adrian Luna is turning out to be tough for Kerala Blasters. The spark was missing as the side went down to Punjab FC 1-3 in the Indian Super League at the Nehru Stadium here on Monday with the visitor’s Colombian forward scoring two of those goals.
It was only Punjab’s third win this season and saw it climb from the 11th to the ninth spot in the table while the Blasters remain on the third rung.
Despite dominating the league this season, coach Ivan Vukomanovic had warned that Punjab would be a tough opponent but none expected the match to end in the way it did. Strangely, tThe stadium was not even half full, probably the fans missed their most popular player Luna and the deafening roar which usually sends rivals into a shell was missing.
That perhaps worked in Punjab’s favour. For though, KBFC dominated a major part of the opening half and even took the lead in the 39th minute through its defender Milos Drincic, whose left-footed shot appeared to bounce inside the line, Punjab fought back and after gaining the lead choked the home side with a strong defence.
Jordan sidestepped defender Pritam Kotal smartly for the equaliser shortly before the break after receiving a long pass from Madih Talal, and later made the most of a deflection from goalkeeper Sachin Suresh to give Punjab the lead with a header around the hour mark.
And just before the end, Luka Majcen added one more off a penalty for a Blasters handball.
The result: KBFC 1 (Drincic 39) lost to PFC 3 (Jordan 42 & 61, Majcen 88-pen).