This was the Yellow Army’s first-ever win against the Juggernauts.
Kerala Blasters registered their first win of their ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) campaign on Sunday, beating Odisha FC 2-1 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa. After a goalless first half, Alvaro Vazquez opened the scoring for the Yellow Army a few minutes after the hour-mark. Substitute Prasanth Karuthadathkuni then made it 2-0 for them, before Nikhil Raj pulled one back for the Juggernauts in stoppage time.
Led by head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, Kerala Blasters produced a very mature display in the first half. Their passing, coordination and defence were impressive, as they managed to suffocate Odisha’s attacking department. As expected, Adrian Luna, who was adjudged the Hero of the Match pulled the strings of the Blasters’ attack. He wrapped up the game with assists for both of his team’s goals.
Odisha FC, meanwhile, failed to impress against Kerala Blasters after consecutive wins to start their season. Their work in defence was not great, and their attackers could not compensate for it either. Let’s take a look at Khel Now’s player ratings from the game.
Kerala Blasters (by Hari Thoyakkat)
Albino Gomes (GK) – 7.0
Put in a good shift between the sticks, made three saves. Suffered an unfortunate injury in the second half.
Harmanjot Khabra – 6.5
A continuation of his performance against Bengaluru FC. Did fairly well in defence, his forward balls were good. His miscommunication with Leskovic led to Odisha’s consolation strike.
Marko Leskovic – 7.5
Proving to be a quality signing for Kerala Blasters with each game. A no-nonsense shift by him on Sunday night.
Enes Sipovic – 7.0
A good partner for Leskovic. Where Leskovic failed, the former Chennaiyin man was there to bail Kerala Blasters out of trouble.
Jessel Carneiro – 7.0
A captain’s performance. Looks like he took the pre-match press conference seriously. He really loves to attack.
Vincy Barretto – 6.6
A subdued performance when compared to his previous outings, but not bad by any means.
Jeakson Singh – 7.5
Yet another calm and composed performance from the Kerala Blasters youngster who had 84% passing accuracy and 100% accuracy in long balls – he also put an end to as many as 11 attacking chances of Odisha FC.
Puitea – 7.0
A better display when compared to his efforts against Bengaluru FC. An impressive 87% passing accuracy. His link-up with Jeakson is promising for Kerala Blasters.
Sahal Abdul Samad – 7.5
Slowly finding his rhythm, since he had a poor outing against NorthEast United. Did well against Bengaluru FC, did even better on Sunday night; although he can improve his passing.
Adrian Luna – 8.0
It will not be an exaggeration if we say he’s Kerala Blasters’ best signing in years. Two assists are only the icing on the cake for him – he was literally everywhere and controlled the midfield.
Alvaro Vazquez – 7.5
Opened his goal-scoring account in the ISL. Was ineffective in the first half, but made up for it with an ice-cold finish where he rounded off the Odisha FC custodian.
Nishu Kumar – 6.5
Had just eight touches on the ball, but completed all six of his passes.
Prabhsukhan Gill – 6.5
Replaced Albino Gomes in the second half. Conceded a goal in injury time but denied the Juggernauts two other times.
Prasanth Karuthadathkuni – 7.0
Scored his maiden ISL goal, much deserved given his service to the club over the years. The goal resulted in Kerala Blasters’ winner.
Chencho Gyeltshen – N/A
Played for just three minutes. Did not have any lasting impact on the game.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz – N/A
Played for just three minutes. Failed to impact the match by any means.
Odisha FC (by Dibyajyoti Das)
Kamaljit Singh (GK) – 6.0
Made some decent saves. Couldn’t have done much for Kerala’s opener which was a one-on-one situation but could have done better with the second goal.
Hendry Antonay – 6.0
Almost scored a stunner in the first half. Was decent defensively.
Victor Mongil – 6.0
Not the best of outing for the Spaniard. However, cannot be blamed for any of Kerala’s goals.
Hector Rodas – 5.5
It was Rodas who played Vazquez onside for Kerala’s first goal. He also pulled a muscle while trying to recover and was substituted immediately.
Lalruatthara – 5.5
Another Odisha FC defender who didn’t have the best of nights. Kerala’s second goal came from his side. Also gave the ball away that almost resulted in a goal.
Vinit Rai – 7.0
Covered the most distance in the match. The midfielder was solid in the middle of the park with 25 completed passes with a pass accuracy of 78%.
Thoiba Moirangthem – 5.5
The youngster didn’t have the best of nights at the middle of the park with a pass accuracy of just 61%.
Aridai Cabrera – 6.5
The midfielder made some menacing runs, but was not able to convert the chances.
Isak Vanlalruatfela – 6.0
Was lackluster in the first half, offering almost nothing going forward. Was substituted off at half-time.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga – 6.5
It was a lively first-half from the winger, but his performance fizzled out during the second half. Completed only one dribble throughout the match.
Javi Hernandez – 6.5
Playing in a forward position, he had a good number of chances but was not able to finish them off.
Issac Vanmalsawma – 6.5
Came on at half-time and looked very lively. The winger completed 19 passes with a passing accuracy of 86%.
Liridon Krasniqi – 6.5
Looked much more comfortable on the ball than Thoiba. Was solid in possession and his pass created the chance for Odisha’s goal.
Gaurav Bora – 6.0
Came in to replace the injured Rodas and put out a decent show.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia – 6.0
Came in to replace Jerry in the second half but he wasn’t able to change the outcome either. Provided little going forward.
Nikhil Raj – 7.0
Scored Odisha’s only goal of the match despite being on the pitch for less than 10 minutes. Not the most convincing of finishes as he needed two attempts to finish it off but scored nonetheless.