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NorthEast United FC vs Kerala Blasters: 4 things we learned

Subhasish made a brilliant save to deny Kerala Blasters the win in dying moments (Image courtesy: ISL Social Media)
Subhasish made a brilliant save to deny Kerala Blasters the win in dying moments (Image courtesy: ISL Social Media)
FEATURED WRITER

NorthEast United FC played Kerala Blasters in the second game of the ISL 2021-22 season. It ended in a goalless draw.

Unfortunately, neither team has had the best of starts to the ISL season. They lost their opening game 4-2 against their opponents Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan respectively.

The Highlanders and Kerala Blasters both approached the game with the motive of getting three points from the match. They would've looked to bury the ghosts of the opening match.

Both teams took a safer approach as they made sure they didn't concede first. The match turned into a cagey affair with neither team being able to keep hold of the ball.

Kerala Blasters had the best chance of the first half. But Jorge Pereyra Diaz missed a golden opportunity to score in the 37th minute with just the keeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury to beat.

The scoreboard at halftime read 0-0.

The second half started on a similar note to the first half. Kerala's Sahal Abdul Samad missed the chance of the game in the 51st minute. He skewed his shot wide with an open goal with the keeper to beat in front of him.

NorthEast United didn't have many attacking moves to show for in today's game.

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury made a fantastic save in the game's dying moments to deny Kerala Blasters the win.

The scoreboard at full-time read 0-0.

FULL-TIME | #NEUKBFC@NEUtdFC and @KeralaBlasters open their account with a point each as they share the spoils.#HeroISL #LetsFootball https://t.co/CNnX3O9Jdr

On that note, let us take a look at four things we learned from today's game.

#4 Two foreign defenders do the trick for NorthEast United FC

Hernan Santana was the man of the match today (Image courtesy: ISL Social media)
Hernan Santana was the man of the match today (Image courtesy: ISL Social media)

One of the traits of most Khalid Jamil-coached sides has been a stable defense. In the first game, NorthEast United FC fielded an all-Indian defensive backline. The move backfired as the team conceded four goals, including an own goal.

Today NorthEast United FC started with Patrick Flottmann and Hernan Santana as the center backs. The foreign pairing did their job for NorthEast United FC as they blocked and intercepted numerous Kerala Blasters moves.

.@Hernan__90 bags the Hero of the Match award for a resolute defensive performance against @KeralaBlasters πŸ†#NEUKBFC #HeroISL #LetsFootball | @NEUtdFC https://t.co/bQdjx7Pj4A

Hernan Santana was awarded the Man of the Match for his performance in defense.

Catch the latest ISL live score 2021 here every day!

#3 Midfield is a cause of concern for both teams this season in the ISL

NorthEast United need to improve their midfield (Image courtesy: ISL Social media)
NorthEast United need to improve their midfield (Image courtesy: ISL Social media)

The reduced number of foreigners in the playing XI has hampered every team in the ISL. While some have adjusted to the rule change, others are finding it rather challenging to create a proper balance.

In the first match, it was evident that both NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters had issues in midfield and defense. However, while both teams had their defense sorted today, they failed to improve their midfield. As a result, it degraded compared to the first game for NorthEast United FC.

Kerala Blasters did try to string some passes and create openings, while their opponents failed to do so.

#2 Kerala Blasters have themselves to blame for the draw

Sahal was guilty of missing the best chance of the game (image courtesy: ISL social media)
Sahal was guilty of missing the best chance of the game (image courtesy: ISL social media)

Kerala Blasters scored two goals in their defeat against ATK Mohun Bagan. Both the goals were well-taken goals.

Kerala Blasters had two glorious opportunities to score against NorthEast United but squandered them.

Jorge Pereyra Diaz wasted a brilliant opportunity to score in the first half.

In the second half, Sahal Abdul Samad was guilty of wasting the best opportunity of the game. Sahal was all alone and had just the keeper to beat. But he tried to take the chance with his first touch and made a mess of a brilliant situation.

It is safe to say Kerala Blasters lost two points today.

#1 NorthEast United FC miss Federico Gallego

The Highlanders are missing their best player Gallego
The Highlanders are missing their best player Gallego

Federico Gallego is the best player ever to play for NorthEast United FC. However, he didn't feature in their first game and missed the game today as well. It is evident that NorthEast United don't want to use Gallego until he is fully fit.

His absence is one of the primary reasons why NorthEast United's midfield has been underperforming. Khalid Jamil will hope his primary playmaker is fit soon, or else NorthEast United FC will have a tough time this season.


Edited by Aditya Singh

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