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ISL 2017: Why Kerala Blasters coach Rene Meulensteen was forced to make a double substitution against Bengaluru FC

Rene Meulensteen (Photo: ISL)
Rene Meulensteen (Photo: ISL)
Mohak Arora
Modified 31 Dec 2017, 20:48 IST

Kerela Blasters lost 3-1 at the hands of Bengaluru FC via a Sunil Chettri penalty at the hour mark and an injury-time brace.

After a goalless first half, Bengaluru FC were handed a golden chance to take the lead after Kerala captain Sandesh Jhingan handled the ball inside the box. BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri stepped up to ripple the net from the spot, and put the Blues in the lead. Albert Roca's side went on to build on that lead late in injury time, as Miku scored two more, before Courage Pekuson cancelled one out in the end.

However, Kerela Blasters manager Rene Muelensteen was faced with a real headache, his goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury pulled a hamstring in the second half. This left the Dutchman in a predicament where he was forced to make two substitutions, just to have 11 functional layers on the pitch.

Subhashish, who had pulled out great saves from his bag the whole match, pulled his hamstring muscle and couldn't continue on the pitch and had to be replaced.

The main issue here was that the only other keeper on the Kerala bench was Paul Rachubka, who is a foreign player. Since they already had five foreigners (the maximum allowed limit by the ISL), Meulensteen could not just make a like-for-like swap.

Hence, Muelensteen decided to sacrifice the 19-year-old Dutch forward Mark Sifneos to bring on Loken Meitei in his place. Now, with only four foreign players on the field, Rachubka was free to replace the injured Subhasish.

The interesting incident took place in the 74th minute and the Kerela manager was down two substitutions in a minute.

However, even bringing Rachubka on did not help, though, as the Blasters conceded two late goals to lose the match 3-1.

Published 31 Dec 2017, 20:48 IST
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