The Rewind : Northeast United FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters were held to a goalless draw by Northeast United FC at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Fatorda. Both teams created plenty of chances but failed to convert them.
Ivan Vukomanovic once again fielded Blasters in 4-4-2 formation with 3 changes being made from the previous game. Enes Sipovic, Vincy Barretto and Ayush Adhikari made it into the final eleven while Alvaro Vazquez and Bijoy missed their spots. Adrian Luna paired up with the Argentine Pereyra Diaz in our attack.
The game started off with a slow pace. Both teams found comfort in playing the ball and didn’t attack much. It was Northeast who tried a shot from distance for the first time through Khasa Camara’s long-ranger, but it was deflected off from Jeakson’s body. Blasters attacked through both flanks frequently and a chance to break the dead-lock opened up for the men in yellow in the 30th minute. Luna’s chipping pass to the centre of the penalty area found Diaz, who received it from an offside position, but failed to redirect the ball into the net.
Luna’s exceptional positional awareness helped him to intercept the ball from the left wing and readily supplied it to Diaz, but his carpet-drive was off the target. That was a real chance to break the dead-lock and to put Blasters in front. An evenly fought forty-five minutes ended in a stalemate.
Second half of the game started with Blasters’ touch. Kerala born winger VP Suhair created plenty of chances for Northeast but none of them was converted into goals. The debutant Vincy Baretto had an extraordinary game and was lethal throughout the day. His darting run through the right flank after beating two Northeast players opened up a clear chance for the Blasters. Vincy entered the six-yard box and set up the pass for Sahal but his drive to the goal went wide off the goalpost.
Later Vazquez, Puitea, Nishu Kumar, Chencho Gyeltshen and Prasanth were introduced to the game. These fresh legs provided us with some additional dynamics. Nishu Kumar’s ball was met at the other end by Alvaro who had enough space inside the box and produced a powerful header but Subhashish Roy was equal to it. His best save in the game once again denied us from grabbing all three points. Alvaro’s last minute shot from outside the box also flew away from the goal and that wrapped up the game. The spoils were shared at Fatorda as both teams failed to convert the opportunities they made.
The Tuskers had a good 90 minutes under their belt as they stick-on to their style of attacking football. After grabbing the first point in this season, we’re ready to face the upcoming challenges with full confidence. We will go again this Sunday, against our neighbours Bengaluru FC in a much awaited Southern-derby.
KBFC XI:- Albino Geovanni Gomes(GK), Harmanjot Khabra, Enes Sipovic, Marko Leskovic, Jessel Carneiro(C), Sahal Samad, Adrian Luna, Jeakson Singh, Vincy Barretto and Jorge Diaz.
Subs: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (GK), Sandeep Singh, Nishu Kumar, Denachandra Meitei, Bijoy V, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Chencho Gyeltshen, Alvaro Vazquez.
NEUFC XI:- Subhasish Roy Chowdhary(GK), Patrick Flottmann, Provat Lakra, Gurjinder Kumar, Khassa Camara, Hernan Santana(C), Suhair Vadakkepeedika, Laldanmawia Ralte, Deshorn Brown, Lalkhawpuimawia and Pragyan Gogoi.
Subs: Mirshad Michu (GK), Tondonba Singh, Muhammed Irshad, Mashoor Shereef, Federico Gallego, Pragyan Medhi, Roccharzela, Matthias Coureur, Manvir Singh.