ISL 2016: NorthEast United 1-0 Kerala Blasters – 5 Talking points
A single goal made all the difference. But there was more to it in the game.
The Indian Super League no doubt started with a bang, with the who’s who of Indian entertainment present and involved on the opening ceremony, but the first half in itself was a dampener to the incredible energy of the fans at Guwahati. Kerala Blasters manager Steve Coppell started the season with a shiny surprise of his own, three at the back.
But, NorthEast didn’t look flustered at all, dominating the first half figuratively and territorially. Second half, Kerala started the better side but were caught on the break by Nico Velez and Katsumi Yusa, which proved to be the winning goal.
#1 Mehtab Hossain needs to pull up his socks
Mehtab Hossain was once considered the best midfielder in India, but since then a lot of (younger) players like Pronay Halder and Eugeneson Lyngdoh have taken over, this match showed exactly why. Despite being so talented on the ball, he is desperately inconsistent.
He has his very own party trick of pinging the ball wide, which works exactly once in five times. Steve Coppell would have surely recognised the experience and talent he has, but if his performances are of the standard it was today, boy oh boy, he has a fight on his hands to keep his place.
Also, he has the infuriating tendency to jump into every challenge, no matter where he is on the pitch. NorthEast might not have made the best of the opportunities they were presented (that too at the edge of the box), but on another day, things could have been different.