Kerala Blasters played out a disappointing goalless draw against Mumbai City FC, as both sides retained their old positions in the table. Mumbai City FC remain fourth while Kerala Blasters stick to their sixth position.
Playing in front of more than forty thousand people, the Kerala Blasters started with a bang. Surprisingly, both Iain Hume and Barisic did not start and were replaced by the Indian pairing of CS Sabeeth and Milagres Gonsalves. Lining up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, Kerala Blasters retained their core in the defense once again as Cedric Hengabrt and Sandesh Jhinghan started. Jhingan however, showed his versatility as he played as a right back today.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai City side started Nicolas Anelka in a withdrawn attacking role behind Subhash, who played as the lone striker. Lalrindika Ralte and Tiago Ribeiro were the attacking midfielders. The solid defensive partnership of Pavel Cmvos and Manuel Friedrich started once again while goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who has been very good so far, kept his place in goal.
Both teams full of running, but lacked quality in the attacking third
Although the match was not as good as people expected it to be, there were moments of sheer brilliance and skill. Milagres Gonsalves was denied superbly by the in-form Subrata Paul, who kept the visitors in the game during the first half.
Kerala’s attacking woes were there for all to see as the hosts created plenty of goal scoring opportunities but missed the decisive final touch. The crowd definitely played their part in keeping the home team going as Mumbai’s defense had to be alert throughout the match. Milagres Gonsalves looked dangerous but coudln’t convert the opportunities that came his way.
Meanwhile, Mumbai City FC had their own issues when going forward. They relied very heavily on their resolute defense, which had not conceded a goal in the previous three fixtures. The visitors sat deep in their own half and looked to counter with speed whenever possible.
The speed and trickery of players such as Subhash Singh and Lalrindika Ralte was used to its fullest, as the Mumbai e clear-cut goal scoring opportunities.
The match, although entertaining, lacked the final finishing touches from both sides. Lalrindika Ralte once again proved his worth for the Mumbai contingent as he was awarded the Emerging Player award while CS Sabeeth, whose continuous movement threatened Mumbai’s defense was given the Man of the Match award.
Kerala Blasters dominated possession but were not able to convert their chances, while Mumbai who relied on defending deep, were very solid in defense. With the spoils of battle shared equally, both teams will want to win their next match when Mumbai City face FC Goa while Kerala Blasters travel to the capital to take on Delhi Dynamos.