The Biggest Southern Derby ends in a Stalemate, giving hopes of Revival to Machans: The Talking Points

Sabari Jagannathan  |  Indian Super League  |  1 Year Ago

The much awaited southern derby ended in a stalemate after impressive performances by the goalies from both sides. The hosts and visitors had multiple chances to draw first blood but neither of them was able to apply the finishing touches. The draw means that the Blasters cannot go past the Marina Machans in the table. It also could spell the end of road for Kerala Blasters should Jamshedpur win their next tie in the coming weekend. 


Here are the top Talking Points from the Big Match:

Tactical tweaks from both Gaffers set the tone for first half

It was an eventful first half with both sides having excellent chances to go ahead. In surprising selection decision, James opted for CK Vineeth to lead the line for Blasters with Baldvinnson playing behind the Indian striker. Berbatov played the role of deep playmaker with as much as four Kerala players ahead of him when in possession. The plan of unleashing Vineeth's speed against aging centre back pairing of Sereno and Inigo worked well in the beginning. Kerala Blasters had a couple of chance and Vineeth tested the upright with a thunderous strike. The visitors once again opted to drop a winger for additional play maker. Nelson shifted to the right wing with Augusto and Mihelic alternating between the left flank and number 10. The questionable decision almost bore fruit for the former champions as Mihelic's brilliant play set up Jeje one on one against the Kerala shot stopper. Neither side took their chances but it is safe to say that the tactical tweaks by the gaffers set the pace for the Incredibles first half. 

Jeje's loss in form caused trouble for Gregory

Jeje is a fan favourite and it was almost unthinkable that the forward's position in the starting eleven will be ever under threat. However the sniper has not really set the season on fire with his performances. He has blown hot and cold in this year's edition. Jeje had a brilliant opportunity to put the visitors ahead right at the stroke of halftime but the forward fluffed his shot agonisingly wide of the target. An in form Jeje would have absolutely buried that shot home. He has scored only once in his last 8 games and that is a major cause of worry for the former champions. He got better in the second half but was substituted in the 82nd minute after a frustrating evening. 

Valiant Performance into vain for Blasters

Kerala Blasters threw everything they had at the visitors. Karanjit's heroics denied the men in yellow the glory on the night. Kerala picked up 10 points from their last 4 games coming into the game. They are finishing the tournament on a strong note. James has come in and turned it around for the two time finalists but unfortunately it all became too little too late for them. They are currently agonisingly short of making it to the top four but will have to hope that other results go their way. Their loyal fan base will go home with their heads held high after a valiant effort from their team. 



Hostile, intimidating yet only two wins

Kerala is one of the most intimidating place to play in India for an away team. The Blasters would have hoped to pick up more wins from their 9 games in their favourite ground. Most of their home games came at the intial stretch of their campaign when they were awfully short of form. 2 wins from 9 home games was never going to be enough for the blasters to scrap through to the semifinals. 


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