The spoils were shared between Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa as the game ended 1-1 at the GMC Stadium Bambolim.
The game started with the Men in yellow setting up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, Kibu has stuck to a set system now despite injuries to some of our key players who played important roles in the last few matches. FC Goa set up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation and played their possession based football. We were happy to let go of possession and sit back. Kibu and the boys were aware that they need more defensive solidarity against a team like FC Goa.
We did not play the high line defense in this game. As we were aware of the quality of players like Ortiz. In the first half, it showed as Ortiz gave a tough time for our defense as he came so close to scoring a goal. Sahal to his credit mostly played deep on the left in this game, tracking back and protecting Denechandra. Our pressing game suffered due to this and due to the absence of Jordan Murray upfront. Rahul played as the main striker and Hooper played behind him. Facundo was playing the right-wing.
It was a big task for Rahul to play as a striker which is not a natural position for him. But that goal was clearly a striker’s goal. Even though there are a lot of positive takeaways from the game there are areas of concern as well. We must improve on our set-piece defending. In the last 4 games, 4 out of 5 goals conceded are from set-pieces. And 2 goals among them are direct freekicks and you cannot blame Albino for both as the wall failed to do its job on both occasions. Sandeep and Jeakson both playing as RB and CB respectively.
The schedule is brutal, and Jeakson and Rahul are suspended for the next game. But nevertheless, we must soldier on. We played the game against FC Goa with 2 days rest and so it is not really a surprise when boys did not play with the same intensity as some of the other games. Then also we had chances and we could have won it on any other day. But for the time being with the suspensions and injury crisis, we are facing; we must keep grinding it out.