The Nizams became the first team to secure qualification into the playoffs of the ongoing season.
Hyderabad FC secured a crucial 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters to become the first team to qualify for the playoffs of the Indian Super League 2021-22 season. Goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche and Javier Siverio cancelled out the strike from Vincy Barreto. Manolo Marquez’s men were too strong for Ivan Vukomanovic and Co., who must pick up the morale of his troops for the upcoming matches.
The victory consolidated’s Hyderabad FC’s place on top of the points standings. They are now four points clear at the top, having played two more games than the next best-placed Jamshedpur FC. Kerala Blasters remained on fifth with 27 points from 17 matches, now eight far from leaders Hyderabad FC.
The contest at the Athletic Stadium was full of hard-hitting challenges and memorable individual performances. Here is a look at the player ratings for each player from both teams:
Hyderabad FC (by Waseem Zaidi)
Laxmikant Kattimani (GK) – 6.5
The custodian was unlucky to come away without a clean-sheet. He made six saves and could not do much to prevent Vincy Barreto’s powerful shot from going into the back of the net. Kattimani made three clearances and was quick off his line whenever required as well.
Nim Dorjee Tamang – 6.5
The defender replaced Asish Rai, who missed out due to injury and he did well to keep a watch on Luna and Sahal. He made two tackles, one clearance and one interception in a well-rounded display.
Juanan – 7.5
The leader in defence was solid as ever and perhaps unlucky to come away without a clean-sheet. He led the backline expertly, making seven clearances and three blocks. A yellow card was a slight negative in an otherwise masterful defensive performance by Juanan.
Chinglensana Singh – 6.0
Chinglensana Singh was nervy against Kerala Blasters FC and made a few unforced errors. While his passing accuracy of 80% justifies his good distribution from the back, the defender also made five blocks.
Akash Mishra – 7.0
The left-back was strong in his tackling and was a notable performer in the Hyderabad FC lineup. He had 61 touches on the ball, created one scoring chance and made three clearances too. While doing his defensive duties, Mishra made five blocks.
Sauvik Chakrabarti – 5.5
Sauvik Chakrabarti picked up his fourth yellow card which will see him miss the next game. In order to prevent him from picking a second, Marquez replaced him with Sahil Tavora in the 46th minute. He had one shot on goal, 16 touches and a 100% passing accuracy.
Joao Victor – 6.5
The skipper was crucial for the Nizams in the middle of the park yet again. He was ever-present in both attack and defence, making crucial blocks and creating scoring chances.
Yasir Mohammad – 6.0
The winger started ahead of the usual picks on the right flank and had a shot on target. He also made two crosses and was taken off in the second half in order to inject more pace into the match.
Rohit Danu – 7.0
The forward, playing from the wing, provided the assist with his head for the opening goal that was scored by Ogbeche. He also took one shot which went off target. Danu tracked back as well to provide support to Akash Mishra on the flank.
Joel Chianese – 5.5
The Australian had another quiet evening after starting the game with an early shot on target. Despite having 35 touches on the ball, he could not create any real scoring chances for the forwards. The head coach took him off for Javier Siverio in the second half.
Bartholomew Ogbeche – 8.0
The superlative striker scored his 17th goal of the season in the first half with a composed finish from inside the box. He had another shot on target and also created two scoring chances for his teammates. With five blocks, he was also a key performer in defence.
Sahil Tavora – 5.5
The central midfielder made yet another appearance in midfield, replacing Sauvik at the start of the second half.
Nikhil Poojary – 7.0
The winger came on as a substitute and made a key contribution with an assist. His pinpoint cross led to the second goal of the match.
Aniket Jadhav – 6.0
Playing 25 minutes. Aniket could not make an impact after coming on as a substitute. He had 12 touches on the ball and only one completed pass.
Javier Siverio – 7.0
The young Spaniard made another brilliant contribution from the bench. He scored with a diving header to net his sixth goal of the ISL 2021-22 season.
Khassa Camara – 6.0
The midfielder came on late to shore up things and provide cover to the defence.
Kerala Blasters (by Rajdeep Saha)
Prabhsukhan Singh Gill – 6.5
His highlight of the match would be the brilliant double save which took his save tally in the game to four. But, otherwise couldn’t help with the goals conceded.
Harmanjot Khabra- 5.5
Just had two tackles and interceptions each. The defender had a poor 50% passing accuracy.
Bijoy Varghese- 6.5
Varghese had six clearances and completed four of his ground duels. He also had two tackles.
Marko Leskovic- 6.5
Apart from the impressive 89% passing accuracy, the centre-back won most of his duels, including all of his aerial duels.
Sanjeev Stalin- 5.5
The youngster didn’t fare entirely well, as he barely had any input in terms of crosses going forward.
Ayush Adhikari- 7.0
He showed a lot of spirit, especially while tracking back and making crucial interceptions (3). Adhikari also had two long balls reach their target.
Lalthathanga Khawlhring- 5.5
Apart from a 72% passing accuracy, he had two successful aerial duels but lost the ball a staggering 20 times.
Sahal Abdul Samad- 5.5
The midfield magician was out of spells tonight, as he couldn’t make his mark on the game. A 67% passing accuracy was uncharacteristic of him.
Adrian Luna- 7.5
The Kerala Blaster skipper was at his best, despite being hot-headed for most of the game. He had three interceptions and two tackles. Luna also made five accurate crosses.
Alvaro Vazquez- 7.5
Vazquez surely deserved a goal but was out of luck tonight. He was Kerala Blasters’ best player on the night and troubled the Hyderabad FC defence with his direct runs and trickery. He had three shots on target and also played one key pass.
Chencho Gyeltshen- 6.0
The forward had a decent display, as he had two big chances which he failed to put away. He also won four ground duels.
Rahul Kannoly- 6.5
Rahul KP made an impact as he assisted Kerala Blasters’ only goal in the game. He also had two of his three aerial duels on his side.
Vince Barretto- 7.0
Barretto brought back Kerala Blasters FC into the game with a wonder goal, but it was too little too late.
Givson Singh- N/A
The player came on very late and didn’t have much impact.
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