The Highlanders played a goalless draw against Kerala Blasters to register their maiden point in the ongoing season.

The Indian Super League 2021-22 season witnessed its first goalless draw as NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters shared spoils at the JLN Stadium on Thursday night. It was a tale of missed chances for the Blasters and a non-existent attacking intent for Khalid Jamil’s men.

Kerala Blasters came close on multiple occasions, but it was just not their night. They missed simple tap-ins and a few clear shots on goal. The Highlanders, on the other hand, were defensively sound and miscued in attack. However, this result has helped both teams register their first points and clean sheets.

NorthEast United coach Khalid Jamil reacted to the draw at the post-match press conference. Here’s what he had to say.

Absence of Federico Gallego

NorthEast United ace Federico Gallego is yet to make an appearance this season. The Uruguayan picked up an injury during training and has still not regained match fitness. Jamil spoke about the importance of Gallego and how his absence is affecting the team.

“(Federico) Gallego is a quality player and we need him. We thought of making him ready for the next match. I thought of giving him a chance for at least 30 minutes, but the situation was not favourable to put another player. We’ll see him because just now he came back to fitness,” the tactician explained.

Watch: Khalid Jamil reacts to NorthEast United’s draw against Kerala Blasters

Improvements from last game

The Highlanders were on the receiving end of a 4-2 defeat in their opening game. However, they looked better against Kerala Blasters and earned their first clean sheet and a first point of the season. When asked if he thinks that his team have rectified their errors from the last game, Jamil said, “Yes, defensively we did well. Hernan (Santana) and (Patrick) Flottmann gave us stability in defence. Pragyan (Gogoi) also did a good job, but we lacked in attacking. We need to create more chances to get positive results.”

Thoughts on Deshorn Brown

The Jamaican was NorthEast United’s best player in their last game. He scored a wonder goal, created chances and looked dangerous. However, he failed to replicate his last game’s performance against the Blasters.

“Today, Deshorn (Brown) didn’t get many chances, he got 50-50 chances. He may have played till the end, but unfortunately, we had to take him off due to an injury. We’ll see next time, we have to improve attacking wise,” he concluded.

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