Hyderabad FC fired on all cylinders to walk away with a dominating 4-0 win over Kerala Blasters in their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa. Fran Sandaza (58', 63'), Aridane Santana (86'), and Joao Victor (90+1') were the goalscorers for the Nizams.
The win ascended them to third position in the ISL points table, as they now have 27 points from 18 matches, registering six wins and nine draws.
Even though it eventually turned out to be a comfortable win, Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Marquez wasn't impressed with his side's performance before the change of sides.
"We didn't play a good first half. In some moments, Kerala (Blasters) played better than us. We didn't have too many chances in the first half. We didn't find spaces. In the dressing room, the players kept their calm. We got the confidence to score before the opponent. If they scored before us, I am sure we would be talking about other things. Fortunately for us, Hyderabad FC scored," Marquez said.
Marquez also addressed how Kerala Blasters' below-par performance in the second half made things easier for Hyderabad FC.
"When you are preparing a game, you are always expecting the best version of the opponent. This is the third time we scored four goals. You prepare the game to win. We are very happy and proud. This is important for fans, city, and players of Hyderabad. We are now practically in top five. We have to fight for the top four," Marquez added.
I feel sorry for Kerala Blasters: Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez
After Fran Sandaza converted his penalty in the 63rd minute for Hyderabad FC, Marquez made a double change by bringing on Liston Colaco and Lluis Sastre for Sandaza and Hitesh Sharma. When asked to explain his substitutions, he said:
"When we were winning 2-0, the game was practically finished. I think that even I could have played a few minutes. I feel sorry for Kerala Blasters because they played good. Yes, they concede a lot of goals. For me, I like the style of Kerala Blasters. They also had the possibility of games to win, but they drew or lost."
Hyderabad FC will hope to build on this victory when they face ATK Mohun Bagan on Monday in their penultimate game of the league stage.