In a much-awaited tie, NorthEast United FC versus Kerala Blasters FC ended in a 0-0 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Thursday. Both sides fought intensely but neither could provide the winning touch to take the 3 points home.
The Blasters will be kicking themselves after losing an opportunity to take all 3 points. Scruffy finishing, especially with the NEUFC forwards’ bluntness meant that the game was their’s to take.
Blasters’ youngster Vincy Barretto was given a debut on the right flank. Enes Sipovic too made his first appearance in the heart of the backline. NEUFC lined up in a 4-2-3-1 as well, dropping Mathias Coureur. Instead, they chose to start 24-year-old Australian centre-half Patrick Flottmann.
However, Hernan Santana’s freekick was the highlight of the game. The ball whizzed just inches above the bar after Enes Sipovic took out a darting Deshorn.
NORTHEAST UNITED FC : PLAYER RATINGS
Coach: Khalid Jamil
Goalkeeper: Subhasish Roy (7/10)
Defenders: Patrick Flottmann (6/10), Provat Lakra (6/10), Gurjinder Kumar (6/10), Hernan Santana (C) (7/10)
Midfielders: Khassa Camara (5/10), Suhair Vadakkepeedika (7.5/10), Laldanmawia Ralte (6/10), Pragyan Gogoi (6/10)
Forwards: Deshorn Brown (6.5/10), Lalkhawpuimawia (6/10)
Substitutes: Singh (6/10), Irshad (5.5/10), Roccharzela (6/10), Coureur (5/10), Manvir (5.5/10)
KERALA BLASTERS : PLAYER RATINGS
Coach: Ivan Vukomanovic
Goalkeeper: Albino Gomes
Defenders: Enes Sipovic (5.5/10), Marko Leskovic (6/10), Harmanjot Khabra (6/10), Jessel Carneiro (C) (6.5/10)
Midfielders: Ayush Adhikari (6/10), Jeakson Singh (6/10), Sahal Samad (5.5/10), Adrian Luna (6/10), Vincy Barretto (7.5/10)
Fowards: Jorge Diaz (5.5/10)
Substitutes: Nishu Kumar (6/10), Lalthathanga Khawlhring (6/10), Prasanth Karuthadathkuni (5/10), Chencho Gyeltshen (5/10), Alvaro Vazquez (5.5/10)
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
It was the debutant Vincy Baretto who was perhaps the most impressive on the pitch. Been handed his first ISL start, he made the most of his it. Baretto started the game on the wings, the right flank to be precise.
Vincy went all out attempting to aid his forwards. However, they were unable to apply the finishing touch to give them the advantage. Even midfielder Luna was not sharp enough when inside the area. Finally, neither NorthEast United nor Kerala Blasters managed to secure their first win.
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