The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned Kerala Blasters edged past FC Goa 1-0 to register their second win in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, here on Thursday.
After a goalless first half, Salgaocar striker Milagres Gonsalves made it count for Kerala with a left footer that found the net in the 64th minute.
Coming in as the substitute in place of Chinadorai Sabeeth in the 56th minute, Milagres soon combined with another substitute Andrew Nikolas Barisic to give Kerala the winning goal.
In a move that brought the 47,000 capacity crowd to its feet, Penn Orji slid the ball from the far corner wide for Barisic inside the box, who drilled it across the face of the goal for Milagres at the far post. The forward then made no mistake as he tapped the ball in.
Kerala Blasters missed Iain Hume due to injury and made a total of four changes with Avinabo Bag, Raphael Romey, David James and Saumik Dey drafted in from the defeat against Mumbai City FC.
Former French international Robert Pires, who was the solitary change for Goa, was also unable to contribute and was finally substituted in the 72nd minute for Tolgay Ozbey.
Goa though enjoyed the possession far more than Kerala but failed to capitalise. They played well in the first half but lost their way in the second.
Kerala on the other hand did not stop attacking even after Milagres strike as the No.88 created chances from the flanks and pushed the Goan defense back.
The home side did guard their lead well to repudiate an equaliser.
Swift Moment of the Match went to Sabeeth for his attempt towards the end of the first half which was denied by the cross bar.
Narayan Das was declared the Fittest Player of the Match while ISL's Emerging Player went to the young Kerala defender Sandesh Jhingan for his compact performance in the back line.
The win allowed Kerala to climb two spots to fifth in the league table while Zico's Goa remained at the bottom of the chart.