The Matchwinner makes sure everyone knows who's just scored that GOAL!
Well, that was... interesting. The heat and the humidity made it impossible for the game to be played at full pelt for the full ninety. It was a game of stops and starts that NorthEast successfully strategized their way through - Alfaro's and Velez's incessant running, and Katsumi Yusa's magic were the difference makers in the end. They'll be happy with the victory, and the points, but they'll also be aware that they need to improve their fitness levels as the season wears on.
Coppell has a task on his hand here, make no mistake. The Kerala team were sloppy, conceded far too much possession to the opposition, and were second-best in almost all areas of the pitch.
Promising start to the ISL here at Guwahati. Thanks for reading!
Catch LIVE action from the ISL again, tomorrow - same time, same place.
Until then, Ta!
Anirudh Menon signing out!
Toodle - ooo!
90' + 2' The stadium is packed, and it looks like they'll go home happy as Chopra concedes a foul in the northEast half
90' + 1' Jhingan concedes a tired foul on Katsumi, and the whites try to keep the ball in the corner.
3 minutes added on
89' Steve Coppell is annoyed as hell. But he and his side have been thoroughly out-though and outplayed here
88' Alfaro has been exceptional here. The Uruguayan has run his heart out, and he's still doing more of the same! Amazing considering he's been at it since the first whistle
87' OH CHOPRA!!!! The Leo-Messi-blonde striker pulls out a brilliant first touch to send Alves running off in another direction, but he hesitates with his second touch and the defender is able to pinch it back. Oh and all this happened in the six yard box!!!
86' Chopra powers through unopposed but Belfort can not control the ball. Reagan does superbly again to bring the ball out
84' SUBSTITUTION - Nirmal Chettri ON, Narzary OFF. He was suffering from some serious cramps there, as was Jhingan on the other side. The heat and humidity are really telling
83' WOW Reagan Singh. That was exceptionally neat from Reagan Singh as he shows off his dribbling skills and goes through half the Kerala side. But he's eventually crowded out
82' CHANCE FOR RAFI... Chopra floats in a delightful inswinger from the left. Rafi outjumps Alves and Lazarettti once again, but the defenders and Pal are able to put enough pressure on him to keep the header off target.
81' Micheal Chopra is trying to play to his strengths here; standing and pinging balls hither and thither. He's too slow to do anything else anyway, but...
80' Yusa does superbly to draw a foul from Jhingan. Not the smartest tackle by the Indian international, the frustration is really showing here
79' Hughes has now moved into the vacant defensive midfield role. the Northern Irishman will need to bring all his considerable experience into play here
78' Kerala need to up their tempo, and quickly, if they are to get something out of this game... just as i type that Ishfaq Ahmed obliges and breaks in from the left flank. He's expertly seen off by Reagan Singh, though, and it's a goal kick for NorthEast
76' SUBSTITUTION - Romaric OFF, Zokora ON. NorthEast are killing this expertly, and Zokora is such a great, wise, hand to play right now
74' DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION - Vinit Rai OFF, Gurwinder Singh ON; German OFF, D. Nazon ON
71' CHANCE FOR NORTHEAST!! OH ALFARO!!!! What a brilliant first touch from the Uruguayan. It sets him up perfectly for the half-volley, but its saved well by Stack. Alfaro will be hitting himself for not placing the shot better, but he's such a dangerous outlet for the men in white
70' ooooo YUSA!!! The Japanese midfielder attempts to jink his way into the box with those twinkling feet of his, but Jhingan is having none of that fuzz. He stands firm, and dispossess the goalscorer cleanly
69' Kerala on the front foot now, with NorthEast sitting deep within their own half. Jose Mourinho would be proud of the way they've parked the bus here
Chopra has dyed his hair Blonde. Just like Messi.
It looks IDIOTIC. Just like Messi.
66' Paul with a massive punt of a clearance that Alfaro nearly reaches ahead of Stack. Nearly.
That's a defensive midfielder OFF for an additional striker. Chopra, of course, played in the Premier league with Newcastle United and the Championship with Cardiff City
65' SUBSTITUTION - Micheal Chopra ON, Kadio Boris OFF
64' Belfort with a fancy looking back heel across the NorthEast box. Ishfaq Ahmed is on another wavelength, but the left-back does brilliantly to win the ball back with a solid challenge on Narzary
That's a defensive midfielder on for a forward. Shutting up shop with half-an-hour to go? Really?
63' SUBSTITUTION - Wellington ON, Velez OFF.
62' OH SUBRATA PAUL - OH my goodness what a mistake from the experienced keeper. He comes out for a high ball, but drops it under pressure from Belfort. The Haitian swings on his standing leg and attempts to hit the ball on the half volley. It's deflected wide
61' Well that was weird! The ball pinballs around the area and....
60' OOOOO JHINGAN!!!!! He cross-shoots one in that nearly catches out Pal on his near post. India's Spiderman does well to get down low, and save it
59' YELLOW for Belfort. That was so hilariously inept from the Haitian and the Kerala Blasters staff. The forward had gone off for some treatment, and then he hopped back on without waiting for the ref's permission
58' Belfort falls down in the same step-by-step manner you expect a house of cards to fall down in. Nothing doing from the ref though
That's a well-deserved reward for the hardworking Yusa and Velez; arguably the best players on the pitch currently.
What a lovely ball that was from Velez. The Argentine sweeps in a teasing ball that is too hard for the defence to deal with. His Japanese though has no qualms as he times his run to perfection and meets the ball from five yards out
54' GOAAAAAAAAAAAL!!!! KATSUMI YUSAAAAAAAAAA
52' OH LOVELY!!!! Romaric pings a crossfield ball down to NorthEast's right flank. Narzary brings out his very best with a first touch that Arjen Robben would have been proud of, but the ball flies across the box.. no matter because....
50' Belfort cuts in from the left, and unleashes a powerful shot that flies high and wide. Kerala's offensive line have finally turned up
49' SAVE FROM SUBRATA PAL!!! Ok, it looked like a save from where I'm sitting but the referee disagrees, and it's a goalkick. It all started with a brilliant long ball from Mehtab Hossain that Rafi cushioned down for Belfort. The Haitian couldn't get enough power, or elevation on his shot, and it trickled just past the far post
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