ISL 2017, Match 16: Kerala Blasters vs Mumbai City FC, Player Ratings
Kerala Blasters failed to win yet again despite scoring the opening goal against Mumbai City FC at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. Rene Meulensteen's men started the game on the front foot and dominated the proceedings right from the referee's whistle.
The hosts were rewarded for some exquisite attacking play in the 14th minute when 21-year-old Dutchman Mark Sifenos managed to find the back of the net following an inch-perfect cross into the area from local boy Rino Anto.
However, Mumbai grew in confidence from the beginning of the second half and pulled things back through Balwant Singh's leveller in the 77th minute which came as a result of the Blasters' tired legs at the back. There was more drama as CK Vineeth was sent off in the 89th minute when he received a second yellow for simulation, adding to the disappointment of the home crowd.
Here we take a look at how the players from both sides fared during the match:
Paul Rachubka - 6/10
The ISL Player of the Month (November) looked like he was heading for his third consecutive clean sheet after a commanding performance in the first half. But, it was not meant to be and he conceded his first goal of the tournament later in the second half.
Rino Anto - 7/10
The full-back had a good first half and got into a great position to deliver the cross to Sifenos for the opening goal of the game. Despite receiving a lot of criticism in recent weeks, Rino Anto did well today before being withdrawn at half-time due to an injury he picked up.
Nemanja Lakic Pesic - 6/10
The Serbian was not at his best on the day and showed signs of fatigue towards the end of the game when the hosts conceded. Pesic also picked up a booking early on in the first half.
Sandesh Jhingan - 6/10
Jhingan would have also enjoyed keeping a clean sheet after their brilliant display in the first half. The skipper would be gutted about with their inability to see off the game despite dominating it initially.
Lalruatthara - 7/10
The left-back continued his brilliant form and contributed really well while going forward in the first half. Lalruatthara had to shift to the other flank in the second half due to Rino's absence and did well throughout the game.
Arata Izumi - 7/10
The midfielder perfectly sat in front of his defenders and kept possession at crucial times. Izumi covered a lot of the ground and also did well when he came up against Achille Emana despite the Cameroonian being physically superior.
Courage Pekuson - 5/10
Pekuson had a night to forget and was arguably Blasters' worst player on the pitch. The Ghanian was deployed in the centre of midfield alongside Izumi and was wasteful and selfish on many occasions. Perhaps a performance that cost the game for the home side.
Jackichand Singh - 6/10
Jacki caused a lot of problems by running in behind the defenders in the second half and his efforts almost paid off when he got on the end of a peach of a ball from Berbatov but his finishing let him down. Looking at the end result, he would feel that he should have made the most of that chance.
Dimitar Berbatov - 8/10
The Bulgarian was a key player for the hosts in the first half and initiated the movement that resulted in their opening goal. Berbatov also posed a threat from set-pieces and was the chief playmaker for the Blasters.
CK Vineeth - 6/10
Vineeth started the game in scintillating form and kept Davinder Singh on his toes but he failed to find the end product and the second yellow he received towards the end for simulation would have left him disappointed.
Mark Sifenos - 7/10
Sifenos got into a great position to score the goal and was the focal point of every attack initiated by the Blasters. However, he eventually faded away and was replaced by Hume in the second half.
Pritam Singh - 5/10
Singh replaced Rino Anto at the half-time break and could not make any impact whatsoever. The equalizer from Mumbai came from the left-hand side where he was deployed by his gaffer.
Siam Hangal - 5/10
Hangal replaced Jackichand Singh in the second half and failed to do anything noteworthy.
Iain Hume - 5/10
Hume came on in the 70th minute for Sifenos and did not look like he was fully fit, yet again.