Fixtures

India Super League 02/25 14:00 16 Kerala Blasters vs FC Goa - View
India Super League 03/02 14:00 18 Bengaluru vs Kerala Blasters - View
India Super League 03/13 14:00 19 Kerala Blasters vs Mohun Bagan SG - View
India Super League 03/30 14:00 20 Jamshedpur FC vs Kerala Blasters - View
India Super League 04/03 14:00 20 Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal Club - View
India Super League 04/06 14:00 21 Northeast United vs Kerala Blasters - View

Results

India Super League 02/16 14:00 15 [11] Chennaiyin FC v Kerala Blasters [4] L 1-0
India Super League 02/12 14:00 15 [3] Kerala Blasters v Punjab FC [11] L 1-3
India Super League 02/02 14:00 13 [3] Odisha FC v Kerala Blasters [2] L 2-1
India Super Cup 01/20 14:00 3 [2] Kerala Blasters v Northeast United [3] L 1-4
India Super Cup 01/15 14:00 2 [2] Kerala Blasters v Jamshedpur FC [1] L 2-3
India Super Cup 01/10 08:30 1 Kerala Blasters v Shillong Lajong FC W 3-1
India Super League 12/27 14:30 12 [4] Mohun Bagan SG v Kerala Blasters [2] W 0-1
India Super League 12/24 14:30 11 [2] Kerala Blasters v Mumbai City FC [3] W 2-0
India Super League 12/14 14:30 10 [11] Punjab FC v Kerala Blasters [2] W 0-1
India Super League 12/03 14:30 8 [2] FC Goa v Kerala Blasters [1] L 1-0
India Super League 11/29 14:30 8 [2] Kerala Blasters v Chennaiyin FC [7] D 3-3
India Super League 11/25 14:30 7 [2] Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC [11] W 1-0

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 27 15 12
Wins 11 8 3
Draws 5 2 3
Losses 11 5 6
Goals for 39 30 9
Goals against 41 23 18
Clean sheets 7 4 3
Failed to score 6 1 5

Wikipedia - Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters Football Club (Malayalam: [keːɾɐɭa(ː) bɭaːsteːɻsə̆] ), commonly referred to as Blasters, is an Indian professional football club based in Kochi, Kerala, that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL), the top tier of football in India. The club was established in May 2014 during the inaugural season of the ISL.

The club played their inaugural match on 13 October 2014, losing 1–0 to NorthEast United. The Blasters are the three-time runners-up of the Indian Super League. They first entered the final in 2014, where they lost 1–0 to ATK after an injury-time goal from them. In 2016, they were again defeated 4–3 by ATK, this time through penalties in the final. The club entered the final for the third time in 2022, where they were defeated 3–1 by Hyderabad FC through penalties. The Blasters play home games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. In most of the seasons since the club's founding, Kerala Blasters have held the record for the highest league attendance, regularly attracting spectators of over 30,000 per game. The club share a rivalry with fellow South Indian neighbours Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC, with whom they contest in the South Indian Derby.

The Blasters are one of the most widely supported clubs in Asia and have one of the largest social media following among football clubs from the continent. The club is also known for their fan base, including the supporters group called Manjappada, which has gained a reputational for being one of the most vocal and passionate fan clubs in Asia. The club's crest features an elephant holding a football with its trunk, denoting Kerala's deep connection with the sport. The club's traditional kit consists of a yellow and blue colour scheme, with yellow being the primary colour and identity of the club ever since the beginning.

History

Formation

Sachin Tendulkar, one of the first co-owners of the club

In early 2014, the All India Football Federation—the governing body of association football in India, announced they would accept bids for the ownership of eight franchises from selected cities for the inaugural season of the Indian Super League (ISL). On 13 April 2014, it was announced the rights to the Kochi franchise had been won by former India national cricket team captain Sachin Tendulkar and entrepreneur Prasad V. Potluri. On 27 May 2014, the club's official name, Kerala Blasters FC, was announced.

Indian international Mehtab Hossain was the first player signed by the club, as he was the first one to be picked up by the Blasters during the first domestic draft. The management also selected seven other Indian players for their inaugural season. On 13 August 2014, former England international goalkeeper David James was chosen as the first head coach and marquee player of the team. On 21 August 2014, the club participated in the international draft; the management selected seven foreign players for the team. Michael Chopra, Iain Hume, Pulga, Erwin Spitzner, Pedro Gusmão, Cedric Hengbart, and Raphaël Romey were the seven foreign players drafted to Kerala Blasters. Along with them, the club directly signed Penn Orji, Jamie McAllister, Andrew Barisic, Stephen Pearson, and Colin Falvey in the remaining foreign players' slots.

Inaugural season

David James was the first manager and marquee player of the club

Kerala Blasters played their first game on 13 October 2014 against NorthEast United at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium; they lost the game 1–0 after Koke scored in the 45th minute. On 21 October, the club's first-ever goal was scored by Iain Hume during their second match, which was against Chennaiyin. Despite Hume's goal, the Blasters lost the game 2–1. The club's first win came in their fourth game, which was played against Pune City; Chinadorai Sabeeth and Penn Orji scored the club's goals, leading to a 2–1 victory. After playing their first five matches away from home, Kerala Blasters hosted their first home match on 6 November 2014 against Goa. A goal by Milagres Gonsalves led to a 1–0 victory in front of 49,517 fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Blasters qualified for the playoffs on 9 December 2014 with a 1–0 victory over Pune City.

After finishing in fourth place during the regular season, the side played their first semi-finals match on 13 December 2014 against Chennaiyin. Despite not being considered the favourite to win the two-legged tie, they won the first leg at home 3–0 with goals from Ishfaq Ahmed, Iain Hume, and Sushanth Mathew. During the second leg in Chennai, the Blasters were about to suffer a massive setback. Despite entering the second leg with a three-goal advantage, Chennaiyin drew the tie level by winning in regular time 3–0. In extra time, however, Stephen Pearson scored the decisive goal in the 117th minute to win the tie 4–3 to enter the final.

In the final, Kerala Blasters played ATK at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Hume should have given Blasters the lead after 55 minutes, but he took too long alone in front of the goalkeeper, allowing the defenders to block his shot eventually. The match was destined to go to extra time until ATK were given a corner kick in the last minuet, and headed the ball at the near post. As a result, the Blasters lost the match 1–0 despite dominating it throughout the 90 minutes.

2015 season

After the 2014 season, the club announced David James would not return to the club as the head coach and marquee player, and on 12 May 2015, it was confirmed that former England Under-20 head coach Peter Taylor would take over the manager role at the club. The club signed a new roster of foreign players, which includes Carlos Marchena as the marquee signing.

The first match of the season was played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium against NorthEast United where the Blasters won 3–1 with goals from Josu, Mohammed Rafi, and Sanchez Watt. They drew their next match against Mumbai City and then lost their next four matches, which led to the dismissal of Peter Taylor as head coach. Assistant coach Trevor Morgan was in charge for one match before Terry Phelan was named as the head coach for the rest of the season. The Blasters ended their second season in the last place of the league table.

2016 season

Steve Coppell led the Blasters into the 2016 ISL finals.

In an effort to rebuild the team after failing to qualify for the semi-finals in the previous season, the Blasters announced the signing of Steve Coppell as their head coach on 21 June 2016. A week later, the club announced the signing of Northern Ireland international Aaron Hughes as their marquee player for the season.

The season began with a 1–0 defeat away from home against NorthEast United. The Blasters struggled early in the season, as they failed to score goals. After the return of C.K. Vineeth from his loan-spell with Bengaluru FC, Blasters solved their goal-scoring issue. He scored four goals from his first five matches which includes a winner against FC Goa and a brace over Chennaiyin FC. In order to qualify for the semi-final, Blasters needed to avoid a defeat against NorthEast United FC. Vineeth's only goal in the 66th minute helped Blasters to beat NorthEast United 1–0 to seal the second place behind Mumbai City FC in the league table.

After finishing in second place during the regular season, the Blasters played third-placed Delhi Dynamos in the first leg of the semi-finals, which took place in Kochi. The Blasters won the match 1–0 through Kervens Belfort's 65th-minute goal. During the second leg in Delhi, the Dynamos won in extra time 2–1, which meant the scores became tied on an aggregate and the match went to penalty shootout where the Blasters won it 3–0 to enter the final. In the final, the Blasters played host to ATK and got the lead early through Mohammed Rafi before ATK equalized soon after and the match went into a penalty shootout. Despite taking the lead early in the shootout, the Blasters lost 4–3; it was their second finals defeat in three seasons.

2017–18 season

After losing in the previous season's finals, Steve Coppell rejected a new contract extension so the club appointed former Manchester United assistant manager René Meulensteen as their new manager. Blasters released all of their foreign players and signed some more, including former Manchester United players Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown. Sandesh Jhingan was appointed as the captain and the club re-signed their leading goalscorer from the first season Iain Hume. The Blasters won only one of their first eight games that season, leading to the sacking of Meulensteen. Fan-favourite manager David James returned to the squad as caretaker. The Blasters won five of the remaining ten matches and finished sixth in the 2017-18 Indian Super League season. They were eliminated in the first round of the Super Cup.

2018–19 season

Having failed to qualify for the previous season's semi-finals, the Blasters signed a three-year deal with manager David James. With a new roster, Kerala Blasters had one of their worst seasons, winning only one and drawing six of their twelve fixtures, leading to the sacking of James. This season witnessed the club's rising star Sahal Abdul Samad's emergence as Blasters' mainstay in midfield. After the international mid-season break, the Blasters appointed Nelo Vingada as their new manager for the remaining six matches. Of the remaining games, the team had only one win and three draws and finished ninth in the league. They were eliminated from the Super Cup in the tournament's qualifying round.

2019–20 season

After a disappointing season, the Blasters appointed Eelco Schattorie as their new manager. The club released all of their foreign players and signed a new roster that included Cameroon-born Raphaël Messi Bouli and former Nigeria international Bartholomew Ogbeche as forwards. Blasters beat their arch-rivals ATK on the season's first day. Throughout the season, the team was hit by injury concerns. Defender Sandesh Jhingan, who captained the club for the last two seasons, was out of action with an ACL injury, and newly signed Brazilian defender Jairo Rodrigues was also injured. Both defenders missed the entire season and Rodrigues played a few matches at the start. Gianni Zuiverloon and Mario Arqués and other players were also hit by minor injuries in the season; they missed some of the crucial fixtures. The Blasters finished the season in seventh place in the table.

2020–21 season

From the 2020–21 season onwards, the management decided to build a new strategy at the club. As a part of this, the Blasters appointed Karolis Skinkys as their new sporting director on 15 March 2020. On 22 April 2020, the club officially announced the appointment of Kibu Vicuña as their new manager. Fan-favourite defender Sandesh Jhingan left the club on 21 May 2020 by mutual consent, ending his six-year association with the Blasters.

The Blasters decided to rely more upon young Indian players and extended the contracts of Sahal and Rahul KP until 2025. They signed Nishu Kumar on a four-year deal from Bengaluru FC. The Blasters only extended the contract of Sergio Cido among the foreign players and signed a new roster of them under the supervision of the new sporting director.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the seventh season of ISL was decided to take place in 3 venues in Goa behind closed doors. Same as in the previous season, the team suffered an early setback, with this time, captain Sergio Cidoncha suffering a ligament injury on his right ankle during their third match against Chennaiyin FC, ruling out for the remainder of the season. It took the Blasters seven games to register their first victory of the season, winning against Hyderabad FC 2–0. The team was affected by injuries, lesser compared to the previous season. They lost 18 points from the winning position, which includes 4 losses after taking the early lead. The club had the worst defensive performance in their history conceding 33 goals in 18 games and having only 3 wins. On 17 February 2021, after a 4–0 loss against Hyderabad FC on 16 February, Kibu Vicuna and the management decided to part ways on mutual consent. Assistant manager Ishfaq Ahmed was appointed as the interim head coach for the remaining 2 games of the season. The club's fortunes remained largely unchanged in the season as they finished tenth place in the league table.

2021–22 season

After another disappointing season, the club appointed Ivan Vukomanović as their head coach on 17 June 2021. The Blasters started their pre-season camp in July 2021, and played the most friendlies across all ISL clubs prior to the season. In August, the club confirmed its participation in the 2021 Durand Cup, thus competing in the tournament for the first time in its history. After three league stage matches, they were knocked out of the tournament, following their defeat over Delhi FC on 22 September. On 19 November, the Blasters played their first match of the 2021–22 Indian Super League season against ATK Mohun Bagan, in which they lost 4–2. The club won their first season match by defeating Odisha on 5 December by 2–1. This victory was Kerala Blasters' first ISL victory in 11 months. After their defeat in the season's opening match, the Blasters remained unbeaten for the next 10 games, until they were beaten by the southern rivals Bengaluru on 30 January. In between the unbeaten run, the Blasters moved to the top spot in the league table for the first time in 7 years during the middle of the season. After Mumbai City's defeat against Hyderabad on 6 March, the Blasters qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. When the regular phase of the season ended, Vukomanović's Blasters side broke many club records in terms of the number of wins, the total number of goals and clean sheets, points-per-game, and achieved a positive goal difference for the first time in the club's history.

With the Blasters winning 2–1 on aggregate against Jamshedpur from both the semi-finals, they qualified for the finals of the ISL for the third time in their history. They faced Hyderabad in the final on 20 March, which they lost in the penalty shoot-out. It was the club's third defeat in an Indian Super League final.

2022–23 season

After an impressive season, in April 2022, Kerala Blasters renewed the contract of the head coach Ivan Vukomanović till 2025. It was the first time that the club has renewed the contract of a first-team head coach in its history. Even though the Blasters' pre-season preparations in the UAE were interrupted by the FIFA ban on AIFF, the club sent their reserve team for the 2022 Durand Cup, in which they reached the quarter-finals but were knocked out by Mohammedan SC from the tournament. The club only retained Marko Lešković and Adrián Luna as their foreigner players from the previous season, as the rest of the foreigners left the club.

They played the opening match of the season on 7 October against East Bengal FC, which they won 3–1. Even though the Blasters lost their next three games, they recovered from the bad run and went on an eight match unbeaten streak and five consecutive wins for the first time in their history in this season. By the end of the season, the Blasters won ten of their twenty league stage matches, which became a club record, and ended up 5th in the table and qualified for the playoffs. The Blasters met arch-rivals Bengaluru FC in the first knockout stage match in a new format for the ISL playoffs. The match that took place on 3 March is known for the controversial Sunil Chhetri's goal and walk-off by the Kerala Blasters players. Ivan Vukomanović called-off the Blasters players from the pitch into the dressing room after the referee gave green light to the Sunil Chhetri's free-kick goal for Bengaluru in the extra-time, which the Blasters players and staff deemed illegitimate citing that the Blasters players did not set themselves in their defensive positions prior to the free-kick was taken. Bengaluru was awarded the win, and the Blasters appealed to the federation for the match to be replayed and demanded for the match referee Crystal John to banned from refereeing. The AIFF disciplinary committee rejected the Blasters' appeal and imposed a fine of rupees four crores on the Blasters for abandoning the match and asked them to issue a public apology within a week, failing which they would be obliged to pay a fine of rupees six crores, and Vukomanović was handed a ten-match ban by the AIFF-DC from taking part in any AIFF held tournaments along with a fine of rupees five lakhs, and directed him to issue a public apology within a week as well, failing which the fine would be doubled to rupees ten lakhs. The club and Vukomanović then issued their apologies and 'regrets' as demanded by the AIFF-DC, giving a dramatic end to their ISL campaign.

Kerala Blasters also took part in the 2023 Indian Super Cup, which took place in Kozhikode after the end of the ISL season in April 2023. They won their first group stage match of the tournament against RoundGlass Punjab FC on 8 April by 3–1. Even though they won the first match, they lost their next match against Sreenidi Deccan FC by 2–0. They played Bengaluru FC in a must-win match from Group A on 16 April, but the match ended in a 1–1 draw, and the Blasters were eliminated from the tournament, as they ended yet another season without a silverware.

Kerala Blasters is a professional football club based in Kochi, Kerala, India. The team was founded in 2014 and competes in the Indian Super League (ISL), which is the top tier of football in India. The team is owned by former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and is managed by Kibu Vicuna.

The team's home ground is the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, which has a seating capacity of 60,000 spectators. The team's colors are yellow and blue, which represent the sun and the sea, respectively.

Kerala Blasters has a passionate fan base known as the "Yellow Army" who support the team with great enthusiasm. The team has reached the ISL finals twice, in 2014 and 2016, but has yet to win the championship.

The team has had several notable players over the years, including former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, former Arsenal player Sanchez Watt, and Indian national team captain Sandesh Jhingan.

Kerala Blasters is known for its attacking style of play and has a strong focus on developing young Indian talent. The team has a strong emphasis on community outreach and has been involved in several initiatives to promote football in Kerala.