Match no. 19 of the Indian Super League (ISL) saw Kerala Blasters FC lock horns with Odisha FC with the Yellow Tuskers coming out 2-1 winners.
Kerala Blasters FC were in search of their first ISL victory this season. Meanwhile, for Odisha FC, this encounter was about continuing the brilliant form they have found themselves in since day one of the tournament.
Kerala Blasters FC gaffer Ivan Vukomanovic preached himself as a disciple of attacking football and today, his side came out to do just that. Although the game was tied goalless for a long period, the Yellow Tuskers looked a much more balanced side than in their previous outings. They eventually managed to bag three points.
Meanwhile, the Juggernauts found it difficult to cope with the needs of this fixture. Nikhil Raj scored the only goal on behalf of the Kalinga Warriors.
Let’s take a look at the 4 things we learned in this fixture.
#4 Kerala Blasters FC getting used to transitions
One of the things Kerala Blasters FC were able to imbibe in their game was their ability to go on transitions. Their two centre-backs, Enes Sipovic and Marko Leskovic executed their ball-playing abilities to the fullest. They helped full-backs Harmanjot Khabra and Jessel Carneiro stretch the opposition while in attack.
Central midfielders Jeakson Singh and Puitea, along with Adrian Luna, dominated the central region. They circulated possession brilliantly for the Yellow Tuskers. Once the team lost the ball, the Kerala Blasters FC players pressed their opponents and made it difficult for them to look for a teammate.
#3 Odisha FC’s attacking department looked clueless
Javier Hernandez has been the most dependable character in spearheading Odisha FC’s attack. But this encounter seemed to be an off day for him and his colleagues in attack. Although Javier was able to drop to the middle third during counters and draw fouls, he looked off his game for most of the match.
His colleague in the attack, Aridai Cabrera, was not effective in creating chances as well. The credit for this has to be on Kerala Blasters FC’s defensive organization during counters.
#2 Adrian Luna was on song for the Blasters
Adrian Luna was probably the biggest difference maker for Kerala Blasters FC this match. The amount of ground he covered was huge. He was available as an option for the centre-backs and helped in progressing the ball. He was key in supporting the central midfielders in circulating possession.
He also helped the Blasters create situations of overload on the wings against Odisha FC.
#1 Albino Gomes’s efficiency between the sticks
One of the key weapons for Odisha FC this season has been the ability to capitalize on offensive set-pieces. Albino Gomes played a vital role in nullifying this side of Odisha FC. The Kerala Blasters FC custodian was sound with his technical ability to read these situations.
He prevented the Juggernauts away from utilizing set-pieces as an efficient move to score goals. He claimed crosses brilliantly and looked confident in the box.