ISL 2016: Kerala Blasters FC 2-1 FC Goa - Player Ratings
WHAT A GAME! The match between Kerala Blasters and FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi will be one to remember as the visitors were reduced to nine men during the course of the second half and the referee had to leave the pitch under the protection of security personnel as the FC Goa staff weren’t too happy about being disadvantaged the way they were.
The atmosphere in the stadium was electrifying as usual but the determination of the players from both sides to walk away with all three points made it even more tense. Goa had the lead in the first half but thanks to a handball from Goa’s Gregory, they were level with Kerala as Belfort scored from the spot. It was the returning hero CK Vineeth who won the match for his team as he scored in the 9th minute of injury time after coming on from the bench.
In a match that had its fair share of intensity and ugliness, here’s how each of the players fared:
FC Kerala Blasters
Graham Stack – 4.5/10
Stack’s worst moment of the game came when he failed to stop Luiz’s shot and allowed the ball to trickle in between his legs. After conceding that goal, he wasn’t really called into action for the rest of the game.
Pratik Chaudhari – 6/10
Pratik had a jittery start to the game but settled in gradually. He saw a lot of the ball and tried to initiate attacks for his team along the wings. He made an especially good clearance as he headed away a good cross from Robin Singh.
Cedric Hengbart – 7/10
The captain of the Kerala Blasters had a good game as he committed few mistakes tonight. Hengbart did really well to keep Goa’s striker Robin Singh in check as the Indian international was hardly seen around the opposition’s box.
Sandesh Jhingan – 8/10
Jhingan was one of the home side’s best performers. He was practically everywhere making important clearances and blocks. He even made a great run forward in the second half only to see his work laid to waste by Michael Chopra. He was also lucky to escape a booking for catching Goa’s Rafael around the neck in the first half.
Josu Currias – 7/10
Josu was heavily involved in the game and took all of Kerala’s set pieces. While most of them were pretty inaccurate in the first half, his deliveries improved as the night progressed and he even managed to aim one on target albeit into the arms of Kattamani. He was also responsible for some crucial interceptions.
Mehtab Hossain – 9/10
It wasn't until injury time at the end of the second half that Mehtab delivered a loose ball. All his deliveries were on point and he was by far the most important cog in the Kerala Blasters wheel. It was unfortunate neither of his teammates made more of his inch-perfect passing. He was eventually booked for a tussle with Richarlyson.
Azrack Mahamat – 5/10
There were a few good movements from the midfielder especially one to Belfort which he failed to direct accurately but Arack was taken off at halftime as he did not have enough impact on the game.
Michael Chopra – 6/10
Michael Chopra had a decent first half where he played a couple of good passes and teamed up with Belfort and Rafique to create chances but seemed to tire as the game wore on. He eventually went off after he incurred a slight injury in the second half.
Mohammed Rafique – 7/10
Rafique started well and began inviting fouls in strategic areas. In spite of delivering good balls from the right, his teammates could not convert. He did get a handful of chances to score himself but couldn’t hit his mark.
Kervens Belfort – 7.5/10
Belfort saw a lot of the ball and came close to scoring on many occasions but succeeded only when he stepped up to take a penalty for his team. He sent Kattamani the wrong way and scored with an artful strike of the ball.
Mohammed Rafi – 6.5/10
Rafi was the final man of the Blasters’ attack who couldn’t help but miss chance after chance. All his efforts were just short of the target.
Didier Kadio – 6.5/10
Kadio came on to replace Azrack in the second half and was immediately involved in the flow of the game. He did well to win the ball back on more than one occasion and kept up the pressure on a nine-man Goa side in the final moments of the game.
Antonio German – 7/10
Top scorer for Kerala last year, German replaced Chopra in the second half. He may have been brought on to turn up the heat on Goa, but he did his defensive bit too. He missed a couple of chances to score from close-range and won a few free-kicks for his team.
CK Vineeth – 8/10
Vineeth came on for Rafique in the 79th minute and was almost immediately brought down by Richarlyson. After coming on to a resounding welcome, he endeared himself to his supporters even more as he scored Kerala’s winning goal in the 98th minute of the game! He was lucky to be at the right place at the right time and would have been crazy to miss from so close.