The 18th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019-20 season between Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC turned out to a poor advertisement of the league with pathetic officiating spoiling the encounter at Kochi. In the very second minute, Kerala lost their stand-in skipper than a clear penalty was not given after Sahal Abdul Samad was brought down by Narayan Das. The Odisha defender, who's having one hell of a run in his professional career, then handled the ball inside the box. But referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna turned a blind eye on both the occasions. Probably, he's not equipped to officiate in such tense matches. But spare some thoughts for two injured players, Aridane Santana and Messi Bouli. It was bad collision.
Tomorrow, we have a cracker. ATK hots Jamshedpur in a clash of two undefeated sides in Kolkata. And that's all for tonight.
Full-Time: Kerala Blasters 0-0 Odisha FC
90+2' - A corner for Kerala in the dying seconds, but nothing comes off it. And that's all. Another draw for Kerala. They have become specialists in draws.
90+1' - Kerala get a couple of good chances in the last minute. And once again, Narayan Das shanks the ball with his right boot while going for the clearance and ends up giving the ball back to Kerala. But the hosts are generous too.
90' - Meanwhile, Sergio Cidoncha is the man of the match tonight. Two minutes added on.
89' - Corner for Odisha from a deflection from a Daniel Lalhlimpuia attempt. Xisco Hernandez delivers but Sergio Cidoncha clears it away.
86' - What a save from Francisco Dorronsoro to deny Rahul KP. The local boy goes for the near post but Odisha goalie produces a brilliant save. In the build-up, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni crosses a very good cross for a waiting Bartholomew Ogbeche, whose header falls in the path of Rahul. What a chance.
84' - Kerala Blasters are on a good little spell. A long ball inside the Odisha half and Prasanth Karuthadathkuni fails to read it.
81' - Narayan Das is pathetic tonight. Nandhakumar releases a ball for him on the left, but Das takes an eternity to return it.
79' - And Bartholomew Ogbeche soon involves in a fight with Diawandou Diagne. Odisha defender is furious, needed some calming down from the referee and team-mates. Ogbeche is cool and calm. Diagne tracks Ogbeche inside the Odisha box, then is seen chasing Ogbeshe. Will never know what happened there between the two.
78' - Last change for Kerala. Skipper Bartholomew Ogbeche, who's down from a food poisoning, is on for Mohammed Rafi.
76' - Odisha are dominating the proceedings in the second half. Narayan Das almost scored a goal from his cross. That's how poor he is tonight. An intended cross-field ball ends up beating the goalkeeper and missing the far crossbar.
73' - Throw-in for Odisha. Xisco Hernandez, then suddenly produces a brilliant run, cutting inside from the left, and with his left foot, goes for the goal. Deflection from Sahal Abdul Samad and corner. Raju Gaikwad, eyes closed, goes for the header and he almost scores an own goal.
70' - Xisco Hernandez tries a long ranger, and it misses the target. He's quiet tonight.
69' - In the follow-up, Francisco Dorronsoro, under presser, blocked an attempt from close range. Unlucky Sahal Abdul Samad.
68' - Nandhakumar Sekar losses possession in the centre and Kerala win a ball from the following move. A handball inside he Odisha box too, but again, referee fails to see it. Narayan Das, very lucky. Jessel Carneiro's delivery from the flag fails to impress.
65' - What a ball for Jerry Mawihmingthanga, splitting two defenders wth a lofted shot from Xisco Hernandez. Just outside, very close. And the Mizo youngster takes a bad tumble. Bad challenge from a sliding TP Rehenesh.
62' - Prasanth Karuthadathkuni gets the ball from Sahal Abdul Samad outside the ball and releases a curler with his left foot. Misses the target, at the far post.
61' - Mistimed jump from Sergio Cidoncha and hits the back of Martin Guedes. Free kick to Odisha in the centre. Moments ago, Sahal Abdul Samad ends a dangerous-looking Odisha move.
59' - Raju Gaikwad goes with a long ranger. Good attempt, but lacks the bite and also off target. Rain coming down now.
58' - Nandhakumar Sekar, what a miss. A brilliant cross from Jerry Mawihmingthanga from the right flank. He just needs to made the contact. And he fails at the near post. Goal kick for Kerala.
55' - Old habits die hard, for Francisco Dorronsoro. Finds himself up against onrushing Sahal Abdul Samad. Lucky to avoid sliding Sahal with a poor version of Cruyff-tun, just in front of the goal.
54' - Nandhakumar Sekar, channeling on the left flank, and delivers a cross. But it ends up in the hands of TP Rehenesh.
51' - Martin Guedes goes for a left-footed drive from outside the box. Misses the target. This is a very good period for Odisha.
50' - Sahal Abdul Samad gets himself in a good position and wins the ball back, but poor delivery. Diawandou Diagne clears it away.
48' - Poor effort from Narayan Das. He predicted a back-heel pass from Xisco but found wanting when it mattered. Slow on the turf and poor on the ball. And the ball went out of the play. Goal kick to Kerala.
46' - Kerala started the proceedings in the second half. Just confirmed. Kerala Blasters coach was booked for his remonstrations after during the break. And sub for Odisha during the break. Captain Marcos Tebar replaced by Martin Perez Guedes.
8:30 PM IST: Eelco Schattorie was furious. He barged into the officials just after the whistle for the break. Sahal Abdul Samad was brilliant, but the officials were not up to the mark. A clear penalty with Narayan Das bringing down the youngster with a lame tackle. Then, there was an unfortunate incident involving Messi Bouli and Aridane Santana. Both the players were removed, but Kerala would feel the pain more considering they lost stand-in Jairo Rodrigues in the second minute itself to a hamstring concern.
First-Half: Kerala Blasters 0-0 Odisha FC
45+6' - And after a cagey exchange and subs galore, the first half is done. Still goalless.
45+3' - After a good move started by Xisco Hernandez, Odisha find Narayan Das going for the goal with a long ranger. Soft one and an easy take for TP Rehenesh.
45' - Sub for Odisha. Rana Gharami on for Daniel Lalhlimpuia. Five minutes added on.
44' - A brilliant cross from Mohamad Rakip from the left flank and Rahul KP goes for the spectacular. Good intent but fails to hit even the target.
43' - In the last five minutes or so, Odisha have started showing their intent. They are now ready to move forward even though Kerala are keeping their attacking options alive.
41' - Xisco Hernandez wins the ball from Sahal Abdul Samad inside the Odisha half, and creates a move. But it turns out to be a short-lived one. The game has started opening up. Expect a goal soon.
39' - Diawandou Diagne tries to find Nandhakumar with an ambitious through pass, but too heavy. Goal kick to Kerala. And Kerala get going with a long ball. Poor effort on the left flank.
37' - Another injury delay. Odisha captain Marcos Tebar is caught late by Sergio Cidoncha. High foot and deliberate. No booking.
35' - Fantastic run from Sahal Abdul Samad, beating four already and a penalty not given with the fifth Odisha player getting a tackle on the youngster. Poor, poor officiating. Eelco Schattorie can't believe it. He's furious.
33' - Odisha happily rolling around the ball, looking for an opening. But lose possession after reaching the final third with Kerala defenders doing the cleaning up.
31' - And soon, Kerala win a free-kick inside the Odisha half. A poor delivery from the set-piece by Jessel Carneiro. Francisco Dorronsoro collects.
30' - Ambulance arrived. But not required. Aridane Santana stretchered off and is replaced by Carlos Delgado. And Mohammad Rafi on for Messi Bouli.
24' - Nasty. Aridane Santana and Messi Bouli in a tangle. Aridane is bleeding. A cut in the head.
23' - Kerala continue to press, but a very quick counter from the visitors and it opens up the defence. Xisco Hernandez finds Nandhakumar Sekar on the left flank with a brilliant pass, then latter releases a cross for Jerry Mawihmingthanga. But the youngster fails to beat his marker. A corner.
20' - Shubham Sarangi does well to control a high ball, then first real glimpse of Jerry Mawihmingthanga's brilliance. Diminutive, but the Mizo boy wins a corner after a hard tussle. A brilliant ball from Vinit Rai. No danger from the set-piece though.
18' - A throw-in for Odisha FC on the left flank after a long ball from deep inside Kerala half fails to find it's intended target.
16' - Nothing from the corner, but Kerala continue to press hard for the first goal. Moments ago, Sergio Cidoncha got a header on target but Diawandou Diagne blocked it. A shout for a penalty. Not given.
11' - Funny moment. Kerala players Sergio Cidoncha and Jessel Carneiro fail to read each other and let the ball out of play.
10' - Sergio Cidoncha's delivery from the set-piece fails to impress. And a good spell for Odisha, but still rolling the ball inside their own half.
14' - Kerala look a well-oiled machine so far. Sahal Abdul Samad goes for the goal from outside the box, and win another corner.
8' - Mighty scare for Francisco Dorronsoro. A back pass and he is almost caught short. And a free-kick for Kerala Blasters from a Shubham Sarangi foul.
6' - Pressure on Diawandou Diagne from Messi Bouli and desperate header for a corner. Kerala Blasters with an early set-piece. Then, another corner from the following play.
3' - Shocker. Two minutes into the match and Kerala Blasters have their first change. The stand is skipper Jairo Rodrigues is down and out. Abdul Hakku is on.
1' - Ramaswamy Srikrishna blows the whistle. Long chase for Jerry Mawihmingthanga, and TP Rehenesh guards the ball until it goes out of play. Goal kick for Kerala.
7:24 PM IST: Players and match officials are out. National Anthem next.
7:06 PM IST: This is the first meeting between Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC. But Blasters' record against Delhi Dynamos, Odisha's previous avatar, is 4-4-4 in 12 meetings.
6:55 PM IST: Substitutes
Kerala Blasters: Bilal Khan (1), Abdul Hakku (24), Lalruatthara (39), Samuel Lalmuanpuia (27), Seityasen Irom (8), Bartholomew Ogbeche (10), Mohammad Rafi (22)
Odisha FC: Arshdeep Singh (31), Carlos Delgado (23), Gaurav Bora (4), Mohammad Sajid Dhot (3), Martin Perez Guedes (11), Romeo Fernandes (19), Daniel Lalhlimpuia (14)
6:45 PM IST: Kerala Blasters XI
4-2-3-1: TP Rehenesh (GK-13); Mohamad Rakip (2), Raju Gaikwad (5), Jairo Rodrigues (C-3), Jessel Carneiro (14); Mouhamadou Moustapha Gning (7), Sergio Cidoncha (22); Prasanth Karuthadathkuni (11), Sahal Abdul Samad (18), Rahul KP (17); Messi Bouli (28).
6:35 PM IST: Odisha Starting XI
4-2-3-1: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK-1); Shubham Sarangi (15), Diawandou Diagne (5), Rana Gharami (26), Narayan Das (21); Marcos Tebar (C-8), Vinit Rai (16); Jerry Mawihmingthanga (17), Xisco Hernandez (10), Nandhakumar Sekar (22); Aridane Santana (9).
6:26 PM IST: Players are already here
.@KeralaBlasters ready for blast off ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ#KERODI #HeroISL #LetsFootball #TrueLove pic.twitter.com/yKt9RgeaRd— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) November 8, 2019
.@GombauJosep's men have arrived at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi! ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ#KERODI #HeroISL #LetsFootball #TrueLove pic.twitter.com/70P2HvWFXK— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) November 8, 2019
6:15 PM IST: A couple of interesting facts
- Only three teams have not kept a clean sheet this season, and two are involved in this match.
- Jerry Mawihmingthanga has assisted three times so far, and all three to Aridane Santana.
6:08 PM IST: Squads
GK - Bilal Khan (1), Rehenesh TP (13), Shibinraj Kunniyil (42); DF - Abneet Bharti (98), Mohammad Rakip (2), Jairo Rodrigues (3), Raju Gaikwad (4), Jessel Carneiro (14), Sandesh Jhingan (Injured, 21), Pritam Soraisam (23), Abdul Hakku (24), Lalruatthara (39), Gianni Zuiverloon (51); MF - Mario Arques (6), Moustapha Gning (7), Seityasen Irom(8), Prashanth K (11), Darren Caldeira (15), Rahul KP (17), Sahal Abdul Samad (18), Halicharan Narzary (19), Sergio Cidoncha (22), Samuel Lalmuanpuia (27), Jeakson Thounaojam (55); FW - Bartholomew Ogbeche (captain, 10), Mohammad Rafi (22), Raphael Messi Bouli (28)
Coach: Eelco Schattorie (Netherlands)
GK - Albino Gomes (1), Francisco Dorronsoro (13), Ankit Bhuyan (30), Arshdeep Singh (31); DF - Mohammad Sajid Dhot (3), Gaurav Bora (4), Narayan Das (21), Carlos Delgado (23), Rana Gharami (26), Lalchhuanmawia (27), Amit Tudu (33), MF - Diawandou Diagne (5), Bikramjit Singh (6), Marcos Tebar (captain, 8), Xisco Hernandez (10), Martin Perez Guedes (11), Shubham Sarangi (15), Vinit Rai (16), Jerry Mawihmingthanga (17), Romeo Fernandes (19), Nanda Kumar (22), Lalhrezuala Sailung (44), Van Lal Remtluanga Chhangte (45); FW - Aridane Santana (9), Daniel Lalhlimpuia (14), Seiminmang Manchong (41)
Coach: Josep Gombau (Spain)
6:03 PM IST: What they said?
Speaking about Kerala Blasters' poor defending during the pre-match press conference, head coach Eelco Schattorie said, "In defence, I lost, in the last game, (Gianni) Zuiverloon, who is the one who should do the build-up. So, you also lose a key player there. So, this moment is all about surviving, trying to create some stability by working hard. So, I will be happy if we survive this game with three points or maybe even one point and get into the break. In the end, Zuiverloon will be out for six weeks, maybe. It’s a serious injury."
Meanwhile, Josep Gimbau revealed that Odisha FC will be aiming for a win. "For us, to come tomorrow to play here, I think is something nice. Every single player, every single coach wants to play in a fully-packed stadium. For us, coming here brings extra motivation to try to win away in front of all the fans," he said.
5:50 PM IST: Team News
Kerala Blasters are currently in an injury crisis, having lost Mario Arques and Gianni Zuiverloon to injuries. Meanwhile, Odisha have a fully-fit squad. Carlos Delgado, who missed the Mumbai fixture due to suspension, is back.
Two-time finalists Kerala Blasters will hope to revive their campaign with a win against debutants Odisha FC at Kochi tonight. Having slumped to two consecutive defeats since winning the season opener against two-time champions ATK, Blasters lost to Mumbai City (0-1) at home and to Hyderabad FC (1-2) courtesy late goals. They are currently eighth in the ten-team table. Odisha also have one win from three outings so far, but they will take heart from the 4-2 win at Mumbai in their last match. The debutants are sixth in the table. And they will look to build on that performance.
For Kerala, memories from last season, where they went on a 14-game winless run is still fresh in their minds. Eelco Schattorie's team cannot afford a repeat and badly need a win. But what would concern Kerala is that they haven't been able to create many goal-scoring opportunities for star striker Bartholomew Ogbeche, with the likes of Sahal Abdul Samad still adapting to coach Schattorie's style of play.
Odisha would once again hope to see Xisco Hernandez running the show. His partnership with Aridane Santana and Jerry Mawihmingthanga looks promising. Add the pace of Nandhakumar Sekar to the mix and the Kerala Blasters defence could be in for a testing night.
But Josep Gombau is dealing with Odisha's defensive frailties. They are yet to keep a clean sheet, conceding six goals in three games. They also tend to leak in goals in the final 10 minutes, having done so in all their games so far.
Could Blasters be able to exploit this weakness and arrest the repeat of last season? A win for either of the club would be a crucial psychological factor before heading into the international football break.