ISL 2017, Match 7: Kerala Blasters FC vs Jamshedpur FC, Player Ratings
Kerala Blasters FC hosted ISL newcomers Jamshedpur FC in their second home match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The Blasters went into the game on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run at their home ground.
Kerala made one change to their lineup as Jackichand Singh made his way to the starting XI with Milan Singh being demoted to the bench. Jamshedpur FC's star performer on their ISL debut, Sameegh Doutie, started on the bench as former Kerala man Kervens Belfort replaced him for the Steelers.
Kerala began the game on an attacking front with a couple of good chances but Jamshedpur held on in the first half to keep them at bay as the half ended 0-0. The second half was pretty much along the same lines with the home side dominating proceedings and Jamshedpur sitting back and playing it safe. The match ended 0-0 as the Kerala Blasters continued their unbeaten run, extending it to eight in Kochi.
Here are the player ratings for the match!
Kerala Blasters FC
Paul Rachubka(8.5): The Kerala goalkeeper was brilliant between the posts and was forced to make a double save in the first half, thwarting off a strong free-kick from Memo and the rebound from Jerry. He ensured the clean-sheet with a fantastic 90th minute save from a Belfort header with a diving effort.
Rino Anto(7.5): Anto was very active on the right flank and made a number of overlapping runs whenever Kerala made a move forward. On the defensive front, he was up against the dynamic Belfort and managed to contain him for much of the duration of the match.
Sandesh Jhingan(7.5): Kerala skipper Jhinghan cut a usual stable figure in the defence as he made crucial interceptions and won almost all headers against Belfort. He played the ball out effectively from the back, helping the midfield to create attacking opportunities.
Nemanja Lakic Pesic(8): The Serbian played the perfect partner to Sandesh Jhingan in the centre of the Kerala defence with a strong presence and great on-the-ball ability. He made the most successful passes in the match.
Lalruatthara(7): The left-back was instrumental in the Kerala defence to keep the attacks ticking on the flank with Vineeth up ahead of him. Lalruatthara struggled with his crosses into the box but put up a strong defensive performance.
Izumi Arata(7): Arata, playing in a holding role, unlike his usual preferred attacking midfielder position, had a good showing on the night as he played the pivot between the Kerala defence and the attack. He has managed to adapt his game well to the new role assigned by Muelensteen.
Courage Pekuson(6.5): Ghanian Pekuson initially struggled to get going, missing out on link-up plays with Berbatov but slowly gathered his bearings as the game went on. He had a long-range effort from 25 yards that swerved just away from the Jamshedpur goal.
Jackichand Singh(7): The pacy Indian winger Jackichand was a livewire on the right flank with constant runs troubling the Jamshedpur defence. He justified his inclusion in the starting XI with a commendable performance.
Iain Hume(7): The all-time top scorer of ISL has been slotted in a new role this season with Berbatov's arrival and looked in a better touch after a poor outing in the first match against ATK.
CK Vineeth(7.5): Kerala-boy Vineeth was active in the first half but wasted a good chance, with a disappointing effort from an Iain Hume delivery. The second half was relatively quiet as he was kept quiet by the Jamshedpur defence.
Dimitar Berbatov(8): The Bulgarian marquee player operated in a more deeper role as he orchestrated Kerala's attacks but didn't receive the support up ahead as he needed. He had a good effort that was blocked by Subrata Paul in the JFC goal. Berbatov made a massive improvement after a poor show in the first game.
Mark Sifneos(6): Sifneos came on for the industrial Hume and tried to get the attacks going in the last 20 minutes for the home side as they made an effort to grab the winner in the match.
Prasanth K(5.5): Prasanth was slotted on to the wings after coming on for Jackichand Singh and put in a couple of crosses for the attackers but the Jamshedpur defence was up to the task.
Milan Singh(5.5): Milan Singh came on in the last 10 minutes and didn't have enough time to get going in the game.