Debutant Deependra Negi shines as Kerala come from behind to edge Delhi
Written by: Ali Shibil Roshan
Sandesh Jhingan and Lalruatthara were the other outstanding performers for the southerners against the capital outfit.
After an end-to-end battle, and a full-time entertainer, Kerala Blasters came out triumphant as they won 2-1 against Delhi Dynamos in the battle of the sinking ships, thanks to debutant Deependra Singh Negi, who turned things around for the home side.
It's better to call the match a game of two halves with the visitors dominating the first, and the hosts' commanding the final. Dynamos took the lead from a spot-kick as Prasanth brought Seityasen Singh down. It was David James' super-subs that took the game away. Negi cancelled out Kalu Uche's goal in the beginning of the second-half and talisman Iain Hume scored the winner from the spot. Let's take a look at how all the Indian players rated.
Watch: Kerala Blasters 2-1 Delhi dynamos highlights
Subhasish Roy- 7.0
The shot-stopper performed brilliantly for Kerala Blasters throughout the game. He was instrumental for Kerala at the back. He managed to make three saves, and five clearances, which demonstrates how vital he was. He would have received a better rating had he denied Uche from the spot.
Sandesh Jhingan- 8.0
The Minister of Defense, Sandesh Jhingan was tenacious and ample at the back for Blasters. His alarming presence at the back hindered the rapidity of Dynamos' attacks. He made 11 clearances, three tackles, and three blocks which is a decent figure for the captain.
Vital and dazzling as usual, Lalruatthara put everything he could into the game in order contribute to Blasters' gameplay. Despite Delhi attackers heavily involved on his flank, Lalruatthara thwarted them with crunching tackles, six of them to be precise.
Milan Singh- 7.0
Decisive in both the defensive and attacking segment, Milan Singh did his part brilliantly. His long-ranger that tested Arnab Das Sharma was an absolute beauty. Identical to that of Lalruatthara, Milan also provided massively to the defense. four tackles, two blocks, four interceptions are a testament to that.
Jackichand Singh- 7.0
Was busy on his flank with marauding runs into the opponents' half. It was his swirling corner that found Deependra Negi who duly flicked it past Das Sharma.
Prasanth K- 4.0
Not an effective piece in Kerala Blasters' gameplay, Prasanth conceded an unwanted penalty, which helped the visitors take the lead. In terse, his stats are pathetic and it forced David James to bring Gudjon on for him.
Karan Sawhney- 4.0
Not even in the picture for Kerala, Karan did nothing significant for the yellow colours. Delhi orchestrators and defenders outdid him and he was not adept at overcoming such situations.
CK Vineeth- 6.0
Did a decent job for his side. Was competent is creating attacking situations was an asset for the team up front.
Deependra Negi- 9.0
Deependra Negi was the star of the night
The hero of the night, 19-year-old Negi brought the twist in the second half. He scored from Jackichand's corner, helping Blasters cancel out Uche's opener. He was impressive in the middle of the park, outperforming his opponents with dazzling skills and marauding runs. Pratik brought him down inside the box and Hume did the rest.
Loken Meitei- 7.0
In contrast to that of his pathetic performance in the previous games, Loken looked lethal on the right flank with pacey runs and threatening crosses. He launched three crosses into the box within the span of 26 minutes.
Arnab Das Sharma- 5.0
Had a tough time facing Blasters' attacks. He stood like a wall in denying their attempts. He made three saves, four clearances and three punches but conceded two goals which changed the entire story.
Pritam Kotal- 4.0
Was stretchereded off the ground in the 18th minute of the game. Until then he only had a clearance in his account.
Pratik Chowdhary- 3.0
Despite playing almost the entire game for Delhi at the back, Pratik Chowdhary was vulnerable to attacks. The vigourous attackers of the home side co-ordinated well in the attacking third and Pratik was floundering to successfully intervene. He was shown a red card as he fouled Baldvinson at the end of the game.
Munmun Lugun- 5.0
He was impressive for the visitors in the first half, contributing to the Delhi gameplay from the flanks. He produced six crosses into Kerala's box and also performed his defensive duties well.
Seityasen Singh- 5.0
Seityasen Singh post-Kerala Blasters interview
Looked dangerous for the Kerala defense, Seityasen was busy, performing his attacking duties from the left flank. Prasanth brougt Seityasen down, helping Delhi receive a penalty. However, he was hushed by the tenacious Blasters defenders in the second half. He gave way for Jeroen Lumu later in the second half.
Romeo Fernandes- 5.0
Similar to Seityasen, Romeo too was busy on his right flank. He threatened Blasters' defenders with pacey runs and brilliant passes. He whipped in two crosses into the box, but he was not an effective piece player Miguel Angel Portugal in the second half.
One of the best outfield players for Delhi, Chhangte outdid the Kerala defense many times, but failed to find the net. He kept Wes Brown on his toes and to thwart his pacey runs was a herculean task for the former Manchester United defender.
Mohammed Dhot- 5.0
Replaced Pritam Kotal at the back. The onslaught of Kerala Blasters attackers compelled him to concentrate on the defensive duties rather than the attacking.
Nandhakumar Sekhar- 5.0
Came in for Romeo. Nandhakumar was unable to turn things around for the visitors. A cross and an interception was his contribution to the game.
Published: Sun Jan 28, 2018 07:12 PM IST