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Toyota Yaris La Liga World Live Commentary: Kerala Blasters 0-5 Girona FC

Written by: Punit Tripathi


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It's full time! Kerala lose 5-0 to Girona FC in the final match of the Toyota Yaris La Liga World pre-season. It was positive preparations for both sides who're looking forward to strong outings in their respective leagues. We've some interesting questions lined up for David James, so go nowhere. We'll get you the match report and press conferences soon. The Manjappada is being acknowledged by the Girona players. 

90+2' Shoots, and scores! Bottom right, low, and smartly placed. Serrano gets his name on the scoresheet. The midfielder is making the right noises!

90+1' Penalty to Girona. A goal line save probably had a hand-ball. 

90' Pekuson shoots, but shoots wide. He was under no pressure. Both chances fall to the Ghanian. Is he the key to Kerala's attacking woes? 

89' Offside to Girona. They come close again. The 4-0 looks respectable. Girona defeated Melbourne City FC with a 6-0 scoreline. The home fans can sleep happy. 

88' Wide corner, back to the defence. Girona buidl again. Cross comes in from left, Jhingan clears. 

87' Serrano takes the corner, is headed out. Soni crosses one, but is out for a corner. 

86' Pekuson tries a through, fails. Girona attack centrally. Nogue with a shot from distance, is saved. 

85' Long ball from Kerala, collected by Brezmes. Fun fact, Serrano looks taller on the pitch. Zakeer tries to find Prasanth, but fails. Throw in to Girona. 

84' Girona gain possession after the goalkick. Copovi controls the pace of the game. He hasn't looked his usual, dominating self though. Cross comes in from the left, Manzanera heads, but is collected by Naveen. 

83' Serrano takes it, Bernardo heads it. Order of the day, but the ball is over and out for a goalkick. 

82' Zakeer standing over the ball. Girona counter after the failed lob, and win a corner. 

81' Doungel loses possession. Girona build from the back. Hand ball by a Girona player to stop a Kerala attack. Referee books him. Free kick to Kerala. 

80' Rakip makes another clearance at left back. The lad has been above average, arguably. 

79' Kerala are trying to play balls over the top, but the height of Pekuson and Doungel isn't of much help. Also, Bernardo is 6'3. 

78' Throw in to Girona, as Naveen clears one long to his right. The Reds are back on the ball. 

77' Blasters have another throw, down the right. They're being allowed more possession now. Rakip tries to change wings, but his pass is not enough. 

75' The normal order for every Kerala player is to retreat, once they lose the ball. Pressing is non-existent. Narzary covers one well for a home throw. 

74' Negi tries a ball to the wings, but his pass is short. Out for a throw. Poor throw from Anas. 

73' Caraballo makes it four! Cuts in from the left, and lets it flying. A deflection, and Kumar has nothing to do. Will we see a consistent scoreline? 

73' Blasters earn a throw in, with Bernardo clearing a long ball that was being chased by Doungel. Can they put enough pressure for that one, sweet goal? 

72' Through ball, shot, but is wide, from Girona. Narzary comes on for Matej. Doungel and Pekuson will head the attack for Blasters here on. 

71' Naveen Kumar's theatrics don't seem to end. Wastes time, while trailing 3-0. What sense does that make? 

70' David James is instructing the young Negi, and he has looked good, at least intent-wise, since coming on. 

68' Manzanera is playing as the right winger, and Naveen makes a save from his dinked attempt. Copovi and Nogue look comfortable pulling the threads. 

67' Lalruatthara makes a clearance. Manzanera plays a one-two inside the box, but is defended by Rakip. Corner to Girona. Serrano plays it short to Copovi. Shoots, blocked by Negi. 

65' Many is out. Soni stays in attack. Copovi is here to dictate terms in midfield. Len fights it out with Manzanera. 

64' Caraballo and Manzanera come on. Also, Brezmes is going under the bar for Girona. Freire, too, gets a run in. Serrano will also play the rest of the game.  

63' The new players combine. Doungel and Negi form an attack, with good, proper passes. Anas brings down Many, and the referee blows. 

61' Pekuson curls it beautifully, and buys a great save. Closest Kerala have come this evening. Can they better their best? 

60' Two players come on. Kizito makes way for Negi. Lalruatthara is on for Kali. 

58' Girona regain possession, and Many has looked happy without the shadow of Anas. Meanwhile, Slavisa is brought down by a tackle from Bernardo outside the box. The defender is shown yellow. Slavis makes way for Doungel. Deependra Negi is also coming on. 

57' Nogue makes it three. Superb run from Many down the left, beats Prasanth and cuts one in. Nogue comes in unmarked, places it past Naveen. 

55' Rakip takes a throw in, but is defended. ANother one taken, Girona gains possession. Many was key to the last goal.

53' Pedro Porro makes it two for the visitors, after a defensive lapse. Miscommunication from the goalkeeper, and the winger pushes it in open net. 

52' Pekuson stands on his feet. Is limping. Substitution looks likely for the Ghanian attacker. Jhingan takes the free-kick. Long. Bernardo heads it back to his keeper. 

51' Pekuson takes a deft touch, makes a run, but is tripped. Free kick to Kerala. Pekuson needs treatment. 

50' Goalkick to Kerala, as Soni and Montes fail to combine to a move. Naveen hits the ball close to the central line. 

49' Kali is back to his feet. Goalkick to Kerala. Kerala has shaped in a 5-3-2 formation. Rakip smartly heads a ball out for a Girona throw in. 

48' Montes trips Kali, who's down again. Needless challenge from the goal-scorer. 

47' Throw in to Girona, deep right into the Blasters' half. Soni tries to take on one-too-many, but fails. 

46' Centre-back Bernardo has come in. He'll play the next 45. The No. 2 is a rock at the back. Kerala look to have changed to a 3-at-the-back, Rakip and Prasanth operating as wing backs. 

46' Girona FC start the second half proceedings. They're playing from right to left. 

The teams are walking out. Kerala look to have made no changes to the playing XI. The Viking Clap literally shakes the stadium. 

Seminlen Doungel, Lalruatthara, and Narzary are obvious choices to make an appearance. Who else do you think will get a look-in? Comment below! 

The pitch is being watered well. There's not been a drop of rain since the noon. Will we see the local Jithin MS play a part? The theme song of Manjappada plays in the background! 

What would Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem be thinking? Will Indian International Holicharan Narzary play a role? 

It's halftime. Kerala Blasters have conceded just once, but it's practically the second-string side of Girona FC. The hosts deserve credit though, having shown the will to defend more and stay content without the ball. It'll be interesting to see who comes on for Girona in the next half, and Kerala will hope to get that one goal against the run of play. If that happens, it'll be no short of history. These fans will go into bewilderment, India will go into bewilderment. We'll take a pause, for the second 45 to start. Stay tight, go nowhere, as we see Kerala train. 

45+2' Kumar pushes his team up after collecting a ball. Hits it long, and Matej fails to control it. Kerala win a throw in down the left. 

45+1' Girona's backline is in Kerala's half, and that's all we have to say about the possessional dominance. Two minutes have been added on. Corner to Girona, taken short. Shot from distance by Gimenez, rattles the bar. 

45' Girona send in another cross down the right, but is into the hands of Kumar. The long ball is retrieved by Girona. 

44' Rakip fails to read a pass and possession is given away. Kumar makes a save, and Jhingan does the cleaning up. Throw in to Girona. 

43' Eric Montes scores the first! Makes a run down the right, and finds the back of the net from a tight angle. It was a precise shot, but Kumar should've done better. 

42' Another attack, another tackle from KBFC. Jhingan makes a clearance. Will they go goalless at the whistle? 

41' Girona try to play it in the box, but Zakeer gets a crucial touch. Holds on to the ball, again. Slavisa makes a move, but Matej is pulled down. Well, at least he thinks so. 

39' Throw in to Kerala. It was given the other way, but is reversed. 

38' Four passes threaded together, and then Kerala play it back to Naveen. Pekuson hasn't really looked in his elements. Ball players, with the lack of it, tend to go poor. 

37' Free kick to Slavisa. He's pulled down in his own half while trying to turn and make a run. Kumar takes it. 

36' The corner is headed out with ease. Kerala's assistant manager looks agitated on the touchline. Looks like he wants his team to press more. 

34' Rakip on the left has been good defensively. Has kept his area clean. Porro takes a shot after cutting in, hits the post after Naveen gets a hand to it. 

33' Zakeer makes a close save, acrobatically. Girona make an attack, but Jhingan tackles again. The captain has been rock-solid today. 

32' Matej is receiving treatment. The Manjappada must be happy with the football the team has played. Defensively, solid. Short corner. Cross from the left, is shot wide. Referee thinks otherwise, awards another corner. 

31' Naveen Kumar can surely write a book on wasting time. He just did that to perfection under pressure from Soni. Pekuson tries to find a midfielder, but there's no one in sync with him. Many attacks in the box, but is defended. Corner to Girona, but Matej is down and the medics come running. 

30' CK Vineeth is nursing a jaw injury and thus, is not playing a role. Many hasn't been allowed free space by Anas, and he's not looked his devastating self in the last 10 mins. 

29' Kali is back on the pitch and heads it out for another corner. Nogue is taking this one. Gimenez heads, but fails to target it right. Goalkick. 

28' Kerala aren't trying for possession. They're just trying to catch the visitors on the wrong foot, and Prasanth is making those runs. Corner to Girona after a shot is deflected wide. 

27' Kerala have held fort for close to half-an-hour now. Are the fans looking at an upset? Jhingan clears a good, long ball with a diving header. 

26' Kali takes a medical break, and Girona re-start the game with a throw down the left. Kumar takes it under possession. Resumes. 

25' Girona attack down the right, but the cross is well collected by the experienced Naveen Kumar. He's not afraid to come out of his line. Cyril Kali, meanwhile, is down. Matej and Slavisa are being instructed by David James at the touchline. The assistant manager is passing instructions to Zakeer and Prasanth. 

23' Gimenez curls it well, and well over. Kumar to restart the game with a goalkick. 

22' Zakeer trips Soni outside the box. Is yellow-carded, and free kick to Girona in an interesting position. Looks 25-30 yards. 

21' The ease with which Girona players find their teammates in the air is a sight to behold, absolutely. Kizito makes a forward run, finds Prasanth. 

19' Kumar comes out and collects a long ball at the edge of his box. Good for a goalkeeper's confidence. Girona hasn't been as threatening, but the team is playing its second string. Rakip combines with Kizito, who tries to find Prasanth with a cross-field pass, but hits it too long. Goalkick to Girona. 

18' There's been some questionable decisions yesterday, some have been made today as well. All, coincidentally, in Girona's favour. Naveen Kumar tackles and makes a good save. Gimenez tries to curl one, but Kumar collects with ease. 

17' Pekuson, Slavisa, and Matej look like the only three players that're allowed to move forward. Prasantha is key to any counter-attack, and the team hopes he uses his pace right. 

16' Kerala have done well to hold fort so far. It'll be adding to their growing confidence, and the more the merrier for the hosts at the moment. 

15' They say its a game that's played on the pitch between 11 men, and any team can win it on its night. Is it applicable? Many, meanwhile, whistles past Anas to send a low cross in. The shot is marginally wide. 

14' Jhingan makes a tackle, and a good one at that. Regaining fitness and confidence. Better from the Blasters. Another shot comes in, is over the Blasters' bar. 

13' Free kick to Girona as Zakeer brings down Many in Kerala's half. They pass it back and allow their defenders to build it. The 4-4-2 is slightly defensive, with Kerala and their wingers sitting deep. 

12' The ball comes in, but is misconnected. Goalkick to Blasters. 

11' Throw in to Kerala Blasters on the left side of the pitch in their own half. They lose possession centrall. Many takes on Anas and Jhingan, and his shot is blocked for a corner. 

10' Pekuson finds Slavisa in the box. Slavisa's control ditches him, but the stadium cheers the attempt. 

09' Many looks to have started where he left last night. Has seen a lot of the ball already down the left, and is also attempting his runs past players. 

08' Guirado is the wall Kerala needs to breach tonight. Can they do it? Can they make the miracle happen? 

07' Anas is willing to make those runs, and so is Rakip. Jhingan, meanwhile, looks content to sit back as Girona's defence exchange passes. 

06' Shot from outside the box, deflected, out for a Girona corner. Kerala is getting cheered at almost every touch they take. 

05' When was the last time you saw a centre-back wear the No. 7? Kali is wearing the No. 7 for Blasters at the moment. 

03' Girona win a throw down the right. Cross comes in, the connected header is poor. Attack begins, but Slavisa fails to find Matej. Girona regain possession. 

02' Girona are slowly calming this down. Prasanth's tackle brings up a cheer. 

01' Slavisa starts the game. Anas is playing as right-back, while Jhingan starts at the back. Will they swap, soon? Otherwise, it looks the way it is. Rakip at left back. Matej and Slavisa up top. This could be a regular 4-4-2 as well. 

00' Time for action. Kerala huddle up. Girona spreaded out. Who will stand out in this game of football? 

The drums are in, and they really shake it up with the Viking clap! 

They're clapping, they're singing, they're doing everything they can to push the team forward! Kerala Blasters will need all of it, certainly against opposition of this quality. 

The National Anthem fills the air at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The customary photographs and handshakes are done as well. We're now set to see the real action. 

The Kerala substitutes are out as well. The teams are also walking out and the Army lets out a cheer. They've got a new banner to back their side. Will it bring them luck, something they will need tonight?  

The substitutes take their places on the bench for Girona. 

The Manjappada is bouncing in the stands, right in front of us. It's a beautiful scene. It's passion, its unity and its pride. They probably know the end result, and nevertheless, they're here to back the team. MAJESTIC. 

Now that it's ending, we must thank India on Track and everyone who's been a part of this journey. The contribution is debatable and is up for discussion, but history has been made. And once a new path is taken, it's easier to follow. In 10 years' time, who knows, Indians might get to see Real Madrid or Barcelona play friendlies. Hold that thought while Kerala's CM gives a speech. 

Kerala Chief Minister Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan is here. Unfortunately, Sachin Tendulkar could not make it to this game, but the Yellow flags show that they remain unperturbed by the absence. 

The presentations began. Dheeraj strolls back to the tunnel, the last. Will he play a role, after letting in six in the last game? May happen later in the game. 

Both teams, with 20 mins to kick off, are receding into the tunnel. The fans are hopeful, but Khel Now hopes know understand the gulf in class and the expectations are realistic. 

Anas and Jhingan, Kerala's favourite pair, is practising passes from distance to each other. We're sure the fans are enjoying their connection already. Girona players are practising shots, without a goalkeeper, but at the edges of the goal. It's effective, if it works on the pitch! 

The shooting drills are on. Kerala Blasters' players are being played on by Singto, and their hitting the target against Naveen. Girona is back to practising in a small group. 

Kerala is now training in small passes in a small circle. Much needed drill against any Spanish side. On the contrary, Girona is now playing long balls in the other half of the pitch. Right in front of us, the Yellow Army is filling up the Manjappada stand! 

You announce a name, they cheer! That's how driven this Yellow Army is. Jhingan and Anas got the loudest cheers, expectedly. 

Anas and Cyril Kali look to don the role of central defenders tonight. Jhingan and Rakip are expected to flank them. Has the team bettered its fitness from the last game? They're going through their paces at the moment, and assistant manager Thangboi Singto is passing instructions. 

The Viking Clap is already in. Sandesh Jhingan and the rest of the team has already been acknowledged by the famed Yellow Army. Will the 12th man play a positive role tonight? Will their team score a goal? 

Will the home side show a better resolve this time around, or do we see a harsher result in the last match of the Toyota Yaris La Liga World? Only time, and performance, will tell. 

Indian clubs can learn a great deal by just looking at how European clubs train. There is a lot to be learnt for Indian footballers, the system, and the trainers as well. Touch, run, go. Basics at every Spanish club, and exactly what Girona are doing at the moment. 

Both teams are out on the pitch. The Manjappada is already in, and their anthems are creating the right noises already. 

Girona, meanwhile, will continue their 4-3-3 formation. It looks like Eusebio is going a little easy in this one, and is giving his younger players a run out. 

The line-ups are out. Kerala Blasters are going with their full strength side, and it seems that they will line up in a 4-2-3-1 system. Zakeer Mundampara will play in the dual pivot with Kizito at the heart of the midfield. Prasanth and Pekuson should be expected to flank the wings. 

Girona FC Starting XI: Moreno, Antolinez, Guirado, Arce, Nogue, Gimenez, Pons, Porro, Many, Soni, Arce

Kerala Blasters Starting XI: Naveen, Jhingan, Anas, Kali, Rakip, Kizito, Mundampara, Pekuson, Slavisa, Prasanth, Matej. 

Also Read- We will play with the same players against Kerala Blasters- Girona manager Eusebio Sacristan

Also Read- The Kerala Blasters fans are famous- Girona defender Marc Muniesa

6:20 PM Hello everyone, it is a wonderful evening here in Kochi and it is a delight to host the Toyota Yaris La Liga World here. Although the weather is overcast, we hope it will not be a spoilsport such a high voltage game between Kerala Blasters and Girona FC. This is your host Punit Tripathi, stay tuned and enjoy the commentary with Khel Now.

Match preview- Kerala Blasters Vs Girona Preview: Wounded Blasters face tough Spanish challenge

Published: Sat Jul 28, 2018 09:09 PM IST


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