ISL 2020-21: Kerala Blasters steals a draw against East Bengal as winless run continues for both
First Published Dec 21, 2020, 1:05 PM IST
This was Kerala Blasters' third draw of the season in six games, along with three losses, as it stays in the ninth spot. As for East Bengal, it was its second draw of the season in six games, along with four losses, as it stays in the 10th place, while both are in search for their maiden win.
In what turned out to be an exciting thriller, Kerala Blasters stole a draw in the final moments of their clash against East Bengal, in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL), at the GMC Stadium in Telangana, on Sunday. The draw made no difference to their position in the table, as both stay in the ninth and 10th spot, respectively.
The opening half was off to an attacking start, as there were five attacks in the first 11 minutes. It was the very next minute when an own goal off Nishu Kumar handed East Bengal the lead.
It was followed by eight attempts, including a couple of saves for both sides. However, EB maintained its lead at the half-time break.
The second half was an eventful one, as it saw 13 attacks from both until the 90th minute, which also involved three saved chances by the goalkeepers. Nonetheless, it was at the stroke of full-time, when Jeakson Singh levelled it up for the host, through his header to the bottom-left corner from the centre, following an assist from Sahal Abdul Samad.
The injury-time saw a couple of more attacks from Kerala, including a saved chance in the 95th minute. Nonetheless, that happened to be all, as both the sides had to be contained by splitting the honours.
Following the game, EB head coach, Robbie Fowler, once again targeted poor referring, as his side put up a spirited show. "We were very good today. We defended well, scored a good goal and had plenty of chances. But, the man in the middle (referee) keeps spoiling our games and we will complain about him again. Lots of decisions went against us. I'm not sure if their goal was a corner. We had one of our young players Tomba booked for not being nine yards away [during a free-kick] and every one of their players is going around kicking everyone, and he [referee] does not say anything to them. We are not happy with the referee's performance again," he said.
"We're massively disappointed to have not won the game. We showed tonight that we can compete and create chances. If we are more clinical in final third, then we will give everyone a game. There were a lot of disappointments from the game, but lots of positives as well. Lots of new players came on and made good performances. I'm disappointed because I felt we had done enough to win a couple of games there," added Fowler.
Meanwhile, Kerala head coach, Kibu Vicuna, credited the glorious teamwork that allowed it to snatch a draw. "Everyone has a different opinion. We prepare for 90 minutes and Sahal was not ready for 90 minutes. We already thought of playing him in second half. Gary [Hooper] had a muscular problem and we played Jeakson as a number 6 to give a more attacking role to the defenders," he opined.
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