Kerala Blasters fail again to Break the Deadlock

Kerala Blasters FC

Goa: In another night of Indian Super League football, playoff aspirants Kerala Blasters were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw against Jamshedpur FC at the GMC Stadium in Goa. Despite dominating the game with better play and organisation, Kerala yet again failed in front of goal. Jamshedpur FC who started the game with a high tempo failed to replicate their previous dominance as their defensive brittleness was constantly tested by the organised attacking nature of Kerala Blasters. KBFC were without their head coach Kibu Vicuna, who was suspended during his side’s last outing against FC Goa and was forced to watch his team from the stands.

Kibu Vicuna had set up Kerala Blasters in a 4-4-2 formation while Owen Coyle deployed Jamshedpur in a 4-3-3 formation. Jamshedpur held a slight advantage over Kerala Blasters FC in the early exchanges of the first half but failed to close down the threats created by KBFC through diagonal passes. The presence of mind of Sahal and Jordan Murray proved to be the most dangerous aspect for Blasters as they often broke easily through the Jamshedpur defence. Kerala had more of the possession and took a total of 18 shots but only two were on target. Former Norwich striker Garry Hopper nearly equalised with a long-range strike in the first half which came off the bar and bounced at the edge of the box. The strike was later identified to have been a goal but it was too late for the Blasters.

The first real chance for Jamshedpur came following a mistake by the Blasters goalkeeper Albino Gomes in the 7th minute, who miss-hit a shot after coming off his line and the ball went straight to Nerijus Valskis. The JFC skipper took a couple of touches before unleashing a shot which was narrowly driven away by the KBFC goalkeeper. Jamshedpur got a real scare in the 27th minute as a Murray low cross into the box was misread by Stephen Eze who collided with goalkeeper T. P. Rehenesh who had dived to make the save. Both Jordan Murray and Gary Hooper hit the crossbar with their shots from close range as the deadlock continued into the first half. Valskis came closest to a goal in the 30th minute, completely unmarked inside the box, he misread the chipped pass and failed to volley it past the goalkeeper. He couldn’t control the ball, tried to go acrobatic and was eventually tackled. Jordan Murray’s threat through the middle was misread quite often during the game as KBFC dominated a largely distraught JFC in the second half. Using both wings, KBFC continued to exploit the space left by JFC, who relied much of the second half on keeping possession. For Jamshedpur, the game proved to be a reminder of their defensive frailties as Sahal Abdul Samad continued to find enough spaces in between their half. JFC tactics to find skipper Nerijus Valskis through direct passes and long balls proved to have backfired, as the Lithuanian international failed to break the robust defence of KBFC.

KBFC were the better team altogether and had created more chances than Jamshedpur, but lacked the cutting edge in the final third, which denied them their fourth win of the season.

The result moved Jamshedpur up to 7th with 15 points from 14 games. Kerala also moved one spot ahead to 8th with 15 points from 14 games.

About the Author

I am a postgraduate in journalism who happened to have a passion for writing. I worked for print and TV Journalism and currently doing freelance jobs. For me, football is a fresh breath of air and possibly be the only reason I looked forward to every weekend. What I do love most about football is the incalculable nature of the game as a whole.