Indian Player Ratings: Jhingan and Chhangte the standouts as Kerala, Delhi split points
Written by: Ali Shibil Roshan
The India international and the capital club's starlet were head and shoulders above the domestic contingent on either side.
In what was an end-to-end game, visitors Delhi Dynamos held Kerala Blasters 1-1 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi. After a goalless first-half, Kerala Blasters' local hero CK Vineeth fired home a goal in the 48th minute of the game.
Delhi Dynamos pressed harder and their search for an equaliser finally paid its dividends as Andrija Kaluderovic headed past Naveen Kumar in the 84th minute of the game. Let us take a look at how Indian players from both sides fared in this game.
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Watch: Kerala Blasters 1-1 Delhi Dynamos highlights
Naveen Kumar - 5.0
Made his first appearances for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. In the second-half, he made a wrong pass, which would have been a Delhi goal, had not Kerala defence reacted quickly and effectively. Should have done better to not concede a goal late in the game.
Sandesh Jhingan - 8.0
Commanding as he ever is. Thwarted Delhi Dynamos' dangerous attackers from penetrating into the box. Made many interceptions, tackles and clearances to rearguard the Blasters defence. Overall, a captain's performance.
Lalruatthara - 6.0
A good performance from this 23-year-old defender. However, there were occasions when Romeo Fernandes got the better off Lalruatthara and whipped crosses into the box. His performance going forward was average, and he must improve on that aspect of his game.
Mohamed Rakip - 6.0
A tough game for Rakip. He was up against Lallianzuala Chhangte on the right flank. Chhangte, 21, outran Rakip on numerous occasions, but the 18-year-old did well to curb the threat posed by him. Like Lalruatthara, must improve his game to make marauding runs down the flank.
Sahal Abdul Samad - 5.5
Was not as impressive as he was against ATK and Mumbai City FC. His dribbling is promising, but passing has been an area of concern for the Kerala-born player and against Delhi, it was visible. Improved his game in the second half, and mastered some brilliant movements.
CK Vineeth - 7.0
The 30-year-old Kannur-born attacker, who made it into the starting XI for the first time this season, scored Kerala's only goal of the game. Before scoring that goal, he had made some good runs forward, which Kerala Blasters attackers - including CK Vineeth - scuffed. His goal against Delhi Dynamos has also made him Kerala Blasters' joint top-scorer with Iain Hume.
Holicharan Narzary - 5.0
Narzary performed well for Kerala Blasters in their first two games. Nevertheless, against Delhi Dynamos, his performance was far away from his usual best. Matej Poplatnik came on to replace him in the second half.
Seiminlen Doungel - 5.0
After a dismal first-half, Doungel upped his game in the second half and had chances to score goals, but scuffed. Should have done better while shooting. Delivered a better performance in the second half though.
Prasanth K - 5.0
Came off the bench in the second-half, Prasanth could not help Kerala find the winner. Tried to get on the ends of some movements, but did not turn out to be effective.
Pritam Kotal - 6.0
A decent performance from this International. Delivered some swerving crosses into Kerala's penalty box. Defensively, he was solid. Kept Kerala Blasters attackers in cheque for the most part, but there were occasions when he floundered.
Rana Gharami - 7.0
Solid at the back, hard working Rana had a strong outing against Kerala Blasters. He did a great job preventing Kerala Blasters attackers from creating inside the Delhi half.
Narayan Das - 6.0
Supported Chhangte on the left flank. Went forward on multiple occasions and delivered some crosses into Kerala's box, but should have done better while crossing to ensure it reaches the right place.
Romeo Fernandes - 6.0
Outsmarted Lalruatthara on some occasions. Got outsmarted by Lalrautthara on some other occasions. However, could have and should have done better.
Vinit Rai - 7.0
A decent performance against his former side from the middle of the park. Dropped deep to help defenders, and threaded balls forward. A promising performance from this young midfielder, who was a part of the Indian squad that faced China.
Lallianzuala Chhangte - 8.0
Delhi's best man, arguably. On the left-flank, Chhangte made some darting runs forward. Would have wreaked havoc in the Kerala box had Rakip not made crucial interceptions. However, the end product did not come, to the frustration of Delhi Dynamos.
Bikramjit Singh - N/A
Sajid Dhot - N/A