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ISL 2019-20: Kerala Blasters 2-1 ATK- 5 Talking Points

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Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:48 IST

Bartholomew Ogbeche
Bartholomew Ogbeche's brace turned out to be the difference as Kerala Blasters clinched the tie 2-1

The 2019-20 season of the Indian Super League began on an overwhelming note for Kerala fans as their home side Kerala Blasters pipped ATK 2-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

Kerala Blasters head coach Eelco Schattorie fielded his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Bilal Khan made his ISL debut in between the sticks. Brazilian Jairo Rodrigues and Dutchman Gianni Zuiverloon formed the centre-back partnership, with Mohammad Rakip and Jessel Carneiro flanking the defense to complete the backline.

Jeakson Singh and Moustapha Gning played ahead of them as the trio of Sergio Cidoncha, Halicharan Narzary, and Prasanth K played feeder to their lone striker Bartholomew Ogbeche.

ATK's head coach Antonio Lopez Habas too fielded his team in a similar formation. Pritam Kotal, Agustin Garcia, Carl McHugh, and Prabir Das completed the back-four whereas Jayesh Rane and Pronay Halder played in the defensive midfield position.

Javi Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, and David Williams played a line ahead of them, creating chances for their striker Roy Krishna.

Carl McHugh opened the scoring charts for ATK as his volley following an Augustin Garcia cut-back slotted right at the top corner. Kerala Blasters captain Bartholomew Ogbeche restored the parity after converting a penalty before doubling it at the dying embers of the first half.

The second half saw no goals scored as the scoreline remained unchanged.

#5 Jhingan a big miss for in the Kerala Blasters defensive unit

Sandesh Jhingan might miss the entire season of ISL after tearing his ACL muscle
Sandesh Jhingan might miss the entire season of ISL after tearing his ACL muscle

Kerala Blasters suffered a massive jolt in their pre-season as their defensive stalwart Sandesh Jhingan tore his ACL muscle in the build-up to India's match against Bangladesh. That compounded Eelco Schattorie's defensive issues that already had an injured Zuiverloon and Jairo.


The defenders allowed too much space for ATK forwards and the Kolkata side should have killed the game in the first half itself. The back-four gave a better account of themselves in the second half but there is scope for a lot of improvement.

With Jhingan out for the first half of the season, head coach Eelco Schattorie needs to align his defense accordingly as tougher test in the form of Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC awaits.

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Published 20 Oct 2019, 23:54 IST
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