The hosts had a number of chances which they failed to capitalize on.

Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United shared the spoils in the final game for Kerala in the fifth season of the Indian Super League. The game ended goalless, thanks to a heroic performance from Pawan Kumar, who darted away all the attempts of the home side to get one goal on the scoreline.

The match saw Gurwinder Singh get sent off in the first 30 minutes and then two young Indian goalkeepers playing against each other this season, when Gurmeet was brought in to replace Pawan for the away side and Dheeraj standing tall for the home outfit.

 
 
 
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Watch: Kerala Blasters 0-0 NorthEast United highlights

Below are the ratings of the two and of all the other Indian players who were a part of the fixture:

Kerala Blasters

Dheeraj Singh – 6.0

One way traffic from the Kerala Blasters engaged the NorthEast goalkeeper throughout the game, but the case wasn’t the same for Dheeraj Singh. However, the one time he was actually called into action, Dheeraj was on point. The only thing that his manager wouldn’t have liked was the way he punched the ball straight back to the striker, giving him another chance to try his luck.

Sandesh Jhingan – 6.0

Sandesh Jhingan stood tall throughout the game, as the scoreline shows. But, the Indian international had some nervy moments, especially when he was booked. He made three fouls, showing that he had trouble dealing with a NorthEast side that had ten men on the pitch for most of the game. He also made two tackles and one clearance.

Anas Edathodika – 6.5

Anas had the better performance of the two centre-backs and was even present at the right place at the right moment to clear the ball punched back by his goalkeeper while making a save, a clearance, which, if not made could have resulted in the deadlock broker. He ended with an incredible 90% passing accuracy, helping out the team by building play from the back.

Pritam Singh – 7.5

Pritam Singh was allowed freedom to make overlapping runs down the flank, since NorthEast wanted to focus on blocking everything that came from the middle. Pritam put eight crosses into the NorthEast box, although none turned out to be successful for his side.

Seiminlen Doungel – 7.0

Seiminlen has been one of the best performers of the season and along with Sahal Abdul Samad has been vouching for a place in the Indian national team. He continued his good run of form, starting the game very well. But, the forward missed an easy chance that should have been put in, given the quality and talent Doungel possesses.

Sahal Abdul Samad – 7.5

Sahal helped his side dominate the proceedings right from the first whistle. He dominated the midfield for the home side, finding his fellow forwards in space and helped his team to dictate the tempo. He had an 80% passing accuracy.

Substitutions

Prasanth K – NA

Didn’t feature enough to be rated.

Baoringdao Bodo – NA

Didn’t feature enough to be rated.

Mohamad Rakip – 6.0

Mohamad Rakip replaced Cyril Kali and was more effective than the latter in the opposition half, putting in five crosses.


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NorthEast United

Pawan Kumar – 8.5

There hasn’t been a performance as good as that of Pawan throughout the season and it is because of his heroics that the away side managed to get a point from the game. Kumar’s presence under the bar was influential as he made five saves from as many shots, helping his team to not concede any goals. 

Keegan Pereira – 7.5

Keegan needed to perform, given that his team’s first-choice defender had been sent off and the opposition was all over them. The former Mumbai City man didn’t disappoint. He was clearing everything that came towards his box and was rock-solid in a defensively weaker side.

Gurwinder Singh – 4.0

It’d be harsh, just like the referee’s decision to send him off, to judge Gurwinder for making a foul he ought to have, given the situation he and his side found themselves in.

Shouvik Ghosh – 7.0

Shouvik Ghosh didn’t get enough opportunities at Mumbai City and was hence sent to NorthEast. The full-back did well in the game against Kerala. Shouvik had 10 clearances and did well enough to contain the attacks from his side.

Lalthathanga Khawlring – 6.5

 
 
 
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Watch: Khawlring was one of the best performers of the game

Lalthathanga was calm on the ball, but wasn’t creative enough. He passed the ball well and the work-rate of the midfielder was commendable, even more so when his team went a man down. But, having said that, nothing that Khawlring did turned out to be productive in the opposition box.

Rowlin Borges – 6.0

Rowlin Borges had just 27 passes throughout the 98 minutes of his stay on the pitch. The experienced midfielder wasn’t completely into the game and became even more anonymous as it progressed. He did contribute defensively though, closing down the spaces between the opposition midfielders. He had four blocks and as many clearances.

Girik Khosla – 4.0

Girik was sacrificed for the team’s cause when they went down to 10. Given his team’s lack of possession right from the start, he didn’t have enough opportunities to stand out.

Substitutions

Gurmeet – 6.5

Gurmeet replaced the Hero of the Match and was as effective as him in between the sticks. He made two good saves and helped his side see out the final minutes with ease through his dramatics and time wasting.

Nikhil Kadam – 6.0

Nikhil was brought in to help his side out of the mess they were in, but the winger didn’t get enough of the ball.

Lalrempuia Fanai – 6.5

Lalrempuia missed what could have been his side’s opening goal of the game. He failed again when the ball fell back to him after a poor clearance from the Kerala backline.