Full Time ISL 2016: Kerala Blasters 1-0 NorthEast United FC
Your semi-finals line-up looks like this -Mumbai meet Kolkata and Blasters take on Delhi. Both over two legs. What a night. Goodbye from Kochi.
With the Final set to be right here in Kochi there could be no greater motivation for the Blasters to make it then their passionate fans.
For Kerala their season has only gone one way and that is up. After a retched start Vineeth proved the catalyst for an epic revival that now sees them enter the semis for the second time in three seasons..
The Highlanders fall short after a season full of ups and down. They had a big head-start but couldn't sustain the momentum. Ultimately, they will look back on the four successive defeats midway through the season and the two points dropped in Kolkata.
CK Vineeth now the leading Indian scorer this season in the ISL. What an impact he has had in a short span of time.
Romaric is incensed and is having to be restrained. The NEUFC players are distraught.
90+4' This place has just erupted into a sea of Yellow joy. Blasters through to the semis after a spectacular second half of the season.
90+2' This win will lift Kerala into second. Who could have predicted that halfway through the season.
90+1' Into four minutes of added time. Blasters are almost there.
88' Romaric gets in the referee's face and gets a yellow.
87' Crazy game this. Two chances in a minute. German shoots from distance and the keeper has to tip wide. Then he spectacularly tips Rafi's header onto the bar.
86' Confusion here, German puts the ball in the net. The linesman keeps his flag down but the referee calls offside and correctly.
85' Alfaro shoots one which comes off the post.
84' Seityasen the best player for NorthEast tonight. Seeks the keeper off his line and shoots one from distance which finds the roof of the net.
82' Vineeth with a shot from distance comfortable for the keeper. At the other end Alves with a header from a corner straight at Stack.
81' Some unsavory scenes as Belfort gets booked for time-wasting and Zokora let's him know what he thinks of that.
80' Substitution for Kerala as Kadio comes on.
79' Robert Cullen with the volley from just outside the box. Well over.
76' Belfort dances past Reagan and then cuts back on the edge of the area to German who smashes one which which the keeper has to punch away.
74' Substitution for Kerala Nazon off German on. A corner comes for the hosts but is cleared easily.
72' What a match this. At one end NEUFC attack and the clearance comes to Nazon on the halfway line. He finds Belfort who drives into the area and shoots. The keeper tips over.
70' Substitution-NorthEast. Robin off Holicharan on. Corner for NEUFC. Alves just over with the header.
68' NorthEast now have to score twice. At the other end Belfort produces a save out of the keeper.
66' GOOALLLLLL!!!! CK Vineeth Scored .Nazon finds Vineeth with Diagonal cross who scored with blazing shot from top of the box.
62' Katsumi comes off to be replaced by Cullen.
61' Pratik comes on for Kerala to replace RIno Anto,
60' Yellow Card for Alfaro and Sandesh. Sandesh Kicked Alfaro after tackling him in the box which gets funny reply from Alfaro as he tried to snatch shorts of Jhingan .
59' Alfaro brilliant shot saved by Stack .
58'Katsumi tries to find Alfaro with clever pass but Stack comes of the line to make a save.
56' Rino Anto cross from right does not find anyone in the box.
54' Corner for Kerala, CK Vineeth swings a good ball but Rehenesh punched the ball out.
49' Nirmal Chettri is down injured .Reagan Singh coming on to replace him.
48' The ball falls to Seityasen inside the box, but he doesn't catch it well.
47' Long ball from Sandesh who is playing now as a Left back founds no one as NEUFC defense clears it .
46' Final 45 minutes of the league phase kicked off .Interesting but tight game. Plenty of incident but few chances. Belfort with the best of them while Nazon has been a bright spark. Seityasen Singh provided some exciting moments for NorthEast United .
45+3' There goes the whistle for the break.
45+2' Seityasen with a shot from distance but well over.
45+1' Only the minute added on.
45' Into the final minute of the first 45.
44' Nirmal fouls Jhingan. Free-kick in midfield.
43' Ball down the line. Anto crosses but his ball into the box is cut out.
42' Ishfaq's foul on Romaric. Yellow card.
41' Two Kerala full-backs have swapped ends.
40' Nazon has gone down off the ball and is getting some treatment.
36' Nazon with a dazling run and Nirmal bring him down on the edge of the box. Free-kick in prime position.
34' Romaric takes a shot on goal. It flies over.
33' Rino's foul on Wellington. Free-kick.
31' Vineeth throws the ball away in frustrations. Gets a yellow.
30' Belfort goes through the back of Robin. Gers a free-kick. Zokora has a few words with the referee.
27' The best scenario for NEUFC of course is to stay in the game and nick a late goal.
25' Jhingan has just smashed into Nirmal who is understandably winded.
23' Katsumi's ball in Alfdaro's knockdown. Borges with a snapshot but can't keep it down.
20' Wellington tries to find Alfaro but Rino intercepts. Then clatters into Seityasen.
16' Seityasen with another darting run into the box. Rino has to have a good shift against the pacey winger.
14' The game just settling down after a frenetic start. Belfort's been lively.
12' Kerala certainly not sitting on the point.
9' Ishfaq with the cross in. Vineeth's knockdown on the edge of the box and Borges with the clearance.
7' Seityasen with a sprightly run down the right. Gets to the byline but can't keep the ball in.
5' First chance of the game as Kerala produce a quick counter and its Belfort who produces a save off the NEUFC keeper.
2' Belfort goes down holding the back of head. Not sure what happened there.
1' Kochi Lets Football one more time. We have kickoff.
6:58 pm If you are wondering why Nicolas Velez does not not feature. He's picked up a late knock in the warm-up.
6:56 pm John Abraham wishes Kerala the best but hopes his team can win. The actor has just shaked hands with every NorthEast player in the tunnel amazing scenes.
6:54 pm The players emerge to a wall of sound and the anthem rings out. Kochi is ready and so are we.
6:48 pm Team sheets are out.
Kerala Blasters XI: Stack (GK); Anto, Hughes, Hengbart, Jhingan; Azrack, Ishfaq; Vineeth, Nazon, Rafi; Belfort
NorthEast United FC XI: Rehenesh (GK); Nirmal, Mailson, Zokora, Gurung; Borges; Seityasen, Katsumi, Romaric, Velez; Alfaro
6:45 pm The equation is very simple. A point will be good enough for the hosts. NorthEast need a win. More than 55000-strong have piled in here and they are still craning in at every vantage point.
6:35 pm On the other hand, United have been the most inconsistent team in the division as they remain the team with second most wins and third most defeats. However, solidity at the back – they have the second best defensive record in the division – has seen them be as close as they are to the knockout stages now. A win in Kerala will see them reach the playoffs for the first time in the club’s history.
6:30 pm Blasters reached the Final of the inaugural ISL tournament only to hand the title to Kolkata. Last season, they crashed out of the competition early. After a sloppy start, it appeared as though they would face an early exit this season as well. However, a timely revival now sees them just a single point away from a semi-final berth.
6:23 pm Hello and Welcome from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here in Kochi. This is it. Two teams. One match and only one of these two will make it through to join Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata in the last four.
Pictures Via ISL Media
Published: Sun Dec 04, 2016 09:05 PM IST