Kerala Blasters 1-3 FC Goa
KICK-OFF: Nov 11, 7.30PM (IST) (GMT +5.30)
Channel: Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3.
Streaming: Hotstar, Jio TV.
Highlights: Click Here
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.
Kerala Blasters have a tough encounter at hand when they take on table-toppers FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi today. Kerala matched Bengaluru FC toe to toe in their last encounter, but were wasteful in front of goal and lost 1-2. They haven’t won a game since the opening day of the season and have drawn four games out of the six games they’ve played so far.
FC Goa have scored in every game this season. With them a certainty to score, Kerala need a goal or maybe more to get a result. The Serbian forward Slaviša Stojanović has chipped in with three goals this season. The winger Seiminlen Doungel has impressed and has three assists to his credit. Apart from them, CK Vineeth and Matej Poplatnik have not really hit the ground running. The local lad CK Vineeth has scored two goals this season, but has missed chances which could’ve turned results in Kerala’s favour.
Goa go into today’s game looking to extend their lead at the top of the table before the international break. Their Spanish midfielder Edu Bedia inspired them to a 3-2 win in the 90th minute in their previous game against Delhi Dynamos. Coro has been in incredible form with six goals and four assists from give games. The Indian contingent Seriton Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai and Jackichand Singh have helped Goa along the way to the top with two assists apiece. Ahmed Jahouh and Hugo Boumous have provided a touch of class to Goa’s build up play.
Kerala’s defensive duo Sandesh Jhingan and Lakic-Pesic have their work cut out today against an all-attack Goa. The head to head record from last season is in Goa’s favour and they are strong favourites to take all three points today.
Sergio Lobera, Head Coach, FC Goa:
“It’s always about finding that right balance between attack and defence. As you all know, our style is very attacking. It might leave us a bit exposed at times but our style is what makes us strong so we will not be changing that.”
FULL-TIME: Kerala Blasters 1-3 FC Goa
93′ – GOAL! 1-3 (Nikola Krcmarevic, Assist: Sandesh Jhingan, Kerala Blasters)
81′ – YELLOW CARD (Hugo Boumous, FC Goa)
76′ – SUB (Goa: M. Palanca [IN] Ahmed Jahouh [OUT])
71′ – SUB (Kerala Blasters: CK Vineeth [IN] Prasanth K [OUT])
67′ – GOAL! 0-3 (Manvir Singh, Header, Assist: B. Fernandes, FC Goa)
62′ – SUB (FC Goa: Hugo Boumous [IN] Edu Bedia [OUT])
57′ – SUB (FC Goa: Manvir Singh [IN] Jackichand Singh [OUT])
52′ – YELLOW CARD (Edu Bedia, FC Goa)
46′ – SUB (Kerala Blasters: Cyril Kali [IN] M. Rakip [OUT])
46 +2′ – GOAL! 0-2 (Corominas, Assist: Edu Bedia, FC Goa)
44′ – SUB (Kerala Blasters: S. Doungel [IN] S. Stojanovic [OUT])
34′ – YELLOW CARD (Mohamed Ali, FC Goa)
31′ – YELLOW CARD (Sandesh Jhingan, Kerala Blasters)
11′ – GOAL! 0-1 (Corominas, Assist: Ahmed Jahouh, FC Goa)
A first-half brace by the peerless Corominas put FC Goa on course for a comfortable 3-1 victory over Kerala Blasters at Kochi.
Kerala Blasters only have themselves to blame for their poor tactics going into this game. They don’t seem to have watched or learnt from Goa’s previous games against Jamshedpur and Delhi Dynamos. Both teams employed a high press and managed to subdue Goa’s attack effectively. Jamshedpur went to win against Goa 4-1 and Delhi Dynamos lost narrowly to Goa 2-3.
Kerala Blasters did not press Goa high up on the pitch and sat back in their half and paid the price for it.
For the first goal, the diminutive striker Coro got his head to a cross in the box from Ahmed Jahouh. The Kerala defender Anas Edathodika who is starting his first game this season for Kerala was too far and too slow to react to Coro’s movement.
The second goal came in the first-half injury time. Coro picked up the ball in midfield and ran at the Kerala defenders who kept backing away. Coro picked his spot and a low curler from outside the box gave Goa a 2-0 lead. Goa ended the first half with 66% percent possession and nine shots on goal.
Goa sealed the three points with a third goal from a Brandon Fernandes corner. Manvir Singh got onto the end of it and scored a perfect header past the hapless Kerala goalkeeper.
Kerala looked a little brighter in their attacking play after going down by three goals. They had a couple of decent shots at goal saved by the Goa shot-stopper Nawaz. Eventually, Kerala got a late consolation goal in second-half injury time. A Sandesh Jhingan delivery from the right flank found Nikola Krcmarevic who put the ball past the keeper.
Kerala today lacked imagination and a desire to win. They were tactically poor and naive while defending. With the international break in the offing, they have time to rest, recuperate and spend long hours in the training ground. They take on Northeast United next on Nov. 23.
Goa are in ominous form and will hope the international break doesn’t break that momentum. They are averaging three goals a game with 21 goals from seven matches. They take on a strong Bengaluru side on Nov. 22 in their next encounter.