Kerala Blasters FC romped to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Odisha FC in Match 56 of the 2021-22 ISL. Full-backs Nishu Kumar and Harmanjot Khabra scored for the Tuskers as they reclaimed top spot in the standings from Jamshedpur FC.
Ivan Vukomanovic's side took their time to settle, but opened the scoring through a stunning right-footed curler from Kumar in the 28th minute. Khabra doubled the lead five minutes from half-time, heading home at the near post from an Adrian Luna corner.
Odisha FC tried hard to get back in the second half, but Kerala Blasters did well to seal the win.
On that note, here are the player ratings for both ISL teams:
Odisha FC Player Ratings against Kerala Blasters
Arshdeep Singh - 6/10
Singh could do nothing about either Kerala Blasters goal, but did make some good saves when called upon after a nervous start to the game.
Lalruatthara - 5/10
He offered no threat from his flank for Odisha FC, and struggled to deal with Harmonjot Khabra. Laruatthara was hauled off at half-time.
Sahil Panwar - 5.5/10
Panwar struggled to deal with Jorge Pereyra Diaz upfront. He also could not provide Hector Rodas with enough cover.
Click here to view the today's ISL match.
Hector Rodas - 6.5/10
Rodas was one of Odisha FC's better players on the night, throwing himself into several tackles. He also came close to scoring in the first half, but misjudged a cross from Javi Hernandez.
Henri Antonay - 6/10
Antonay made a couple of unnecessary fouls, but also helped his side out with an excellent clearance off the line. He was too late to react for the first Kerala Blasters goal, though, allowing Nishu Kumar the chance and angle to open up his body and shoot.
Liridon Krasniqi - 5/10
Krasniqi struggled to have any impact on the game, and was often overrun by the Kerala Blasters' offence. The midfielder was substituted at half-time.
Victor Mongil - 6/10
Mongil tried hard to keep things ticking for Odisha FC from midfield, completing 82% of his passes. However, he often left space behind him for the Tuskers to utilise.
Isaac Vanmalsawma - 7/10
Vanmalsawma was arguably the Juggernauts' best player in the game. He often jinked his way past the Kerala Blasters players, winning four fouls and laying out a key pass. It was a surprise to not see him complete the game, though.
Nandha Kumar Sekar - 5/10
It was a disappointing night for the Odisha FC winger, as he struggled to create opportunities in the final third.
Javi Hernandez - 6.5/10
Hernandez did everything he could to bring his team into the game, laying out four key passes against the Kerala Blasters. He won two tackles, completed 75.8% of his passes, and was also fouled four times. However, he let Khabra get past him too easily for the second goal.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga - 6/10
Mawihmingthanga had multiple bright moments in the second half, but lacked the cutting edge to bring his team back into the game.
Odisha FC substitutes
Thoiba Singh Moirangthem - 6/10
Moirangthem replaced Lalruatthara at half-time. He offered much more poise going forward, and got himself into some good positions.
Jonathas de Jesus - 6.5/10
De Jesus had multiple opportunities to score after coming on for Krasniqi at half-time. He was a constant menace for the Kerala Blasters' defence, and even forced an excellent save from Prabhsukhan Singh Gill. However, he couldn't bring his team back into the game.
Paul Ramfangzauva - 6/10
Ramfangzauva replaced Vanmalsawma in the 73rd minute, but struggled to impact the game the way the latter did.
Sebastian Thangmuansang - 6/10
Thangmuansang came on for Antonay in the 75th minute, and had a couple of bright moments.
Kerala Blasters Player Ratings against Odisha FC
Prabhsukhan Singh Gill - 7/10
Kerala Blasters custodian Gill didn't have much to do in the ISL contest against Odisha FC. However, he did make one spectacular save to keep his citadel intact.
Nishu Kumar - 7.5/10
Kumar dropped an absolutely fabulous performance for the Tuskers. He dominated his flank going forward, ending the game with a key pass and scoring with a stunning right-footed curler. The full-back also did well defensively, but let a few get past him, though.
Enes Sipovic - 6.5/10
Sipovic was solid at the back, making two tackles for the Kerala Blasters and keeping Odisha FC's Hernandez in check. However, he also made three fouls, two of which appeared unnecessary.
Ruivah Hormipam - 6/10
Hormipam didn't have the best of starts to the game, looking a little shaky. However, his team's dominance rubbed off on him, and he dealt well with whatever Odisha FC threw at him.
Harmanjot Khabra - 8/10
Khabra put in an absolutely colossal shift for the Kerala Blasters. Aside from scoring his side's second goal with a smart header, he also laid out a team-high three key passes, and was a solid presence defensively. It was one of the best individual displays of the ISL season so far.
Adrian Luna - 8/10
Luna was immense once again for his team, and was easily the best player on the pitch. His movement often helped create open spaces in the Odisha FC midfield, and he also got the assist for their two goals in addition to making three tackles.
Lalthathanga 'Puitea' Khawlhring - 7.5/10
While the Kerala Blasters' full-backs will take plenty of credit, it was the defensive work by Puitea that allowed them to flourish. The midfielder was immense at the centre of the park, completing 87.2% of his passes, and constantly breaking play down to win the ball back for his team.
Jeakson Singh - 7.5/10
Like Puitea, Jeakson Singh also dominated the midfield battle against Odisha FC, completing 90% of his attempted passes. He also made three tackles, and laid out a key pass in a thorough performance on the night.
Sahal Abdul Samad - 6.5/10
Abdul Samad had some bright moments, but struggled to match the tenacity displayed by the other Kerala Blasters frontmen.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz - 7/10
Pereyra Diaz once again proved why he's so valuable to his team. Despite not scoring against Odisha FC, he linked up very well with Luna and Alvaro Vazquez. Diaz also did well to track back, and help his team out defensively.
Alvaro Vazquez - 7/10
Vazquez was a constant menace up front, making some dangerous runs. He attempted a couple of audacious shots to try and catch the goalkeeper off-guard, and was a threat throughout.
Kerala Blasters Substitutes
Prasanth Karuthadathkuni - 6/10
Karuthadathkuni replaced Samad in the 70th minute, and offered energy and width to the Tuskers' forward forays.
Ayush Adhikari - 6/10
Adhikari was brought on for Puitea with five minutes of regulation time left. He didn't have much to do, with his team in a comfortable position.
Chencho Gyeltshen - N/A
Gyeltshen replaced Luna in stoppage-time, and had no time to impact the game.
Givson Singh - N/A
Givson Singh came on for Pereyra Diaz in stoppage-time, but hardly saw the ball.