The Blasters let a lead slip and once again had to settle for a draw against the battling Islanders.
The hosts who were reduced to ten men in the 89th minute after C K Vineeth received his second yellow card, took the lead through Mark Sifneos in the 14th minute. Rene Meulensteen‘s side threatened to increase their lead as CK Vineeth, Jackichand Singh and Courage Pekuson kept on testing the Mumbai City backline.
Balwant Singh made Blasters pay for all their missed chances after he made no mistake from Everton Santos’ cross from the right to level the game for the visitors in the 77th minute. We assess how THE Indian players performed in this entertaining fixture.
Sandesh Jhingan- 6.5
The Blasters skipper will be disappointed after being outmuscled by Balwant to score the equaliser for Mumbai. It was the first goal conceded by the team in the league this season. Earlier in the first half, Jhingan had his goal-bound shot blocked by centre-back Lucian Goian and he almost gifted the visitors a good opportunity after his pass to Arata Izumi was cut-out by Rafael Jorda.
Rino Anto- 7.5
Rino proved why he was rated so highly at Bengaluru FC by providing the perfect pass to help Sifneos nod in Blasters’ first goal of the season. The 29-year-old who started the evening on a shaky note by giving the ball away in Mumbai’s box, did a fine job to ward off Balwant’s threat. However, a groin injury forced Meulensteen to replace him at halftime.
Watch: Kerala Blasters 1-1 Mumbai City Moments
Lalruatthara picked up from where he left off in the last game. The youngster’s darting runs continued and he remained a threat. In the second half, he switched to the right and linked up very well with Jackichand Singh. The duo’s lovely interplay led to Blasters’ best chance of the half. Jackichand released Lalruatthara and the full-back’s pass intended for Sifneos found Vineeth, who’s attempt flew over the crossbar.
Arata Izumi- 6.5
Izumi was guilty of giving away the ball on a couple of occasions. He had a decent first half but struggled to contain Mumbai City attackers and was a mere spectator when Balwant equalised for the Islanders. But, the veteran midfielder racked up the highest passing accuracy in the game – 82%.
C K Vineeth- 6.0
Vineeth gets sent off
It was an eventful evening for the former Bengaluru star. He was bossing Davinder Singh on the left, made life difficult for his former teammate Arminder Singh with constant attempts on goal and in the 89h minute was given the marching orders. He was given a second yellow for simulation inside the box.
Jackichand Singh- 7.0
Jackichand fires over
Jackichand impressed home fans after putting on an energetic display. He was a pivotal figure in Blasters’ attacking front. It was from his cross that Vineeth forced Amrinder to make a brilliant save in the first half. But, the winger earned the wrath of his boss after making a mess of Dimitar Berbatov’s delightful defence-splitting pass.
Pritam Kumar Singh-5.5
Pritam who replaced Anto struggled to find his feet on his Blasters debut. The youngster could count himself lucky after Balwant failed to make the most of his mistake. He was nowhere to be seen when Santos dispatched the ball for Mumbai City’s equaliser.
Siam Hanghal- 5.0
Apart from a shot off target, Hanghal didn’t have much to contribute after coming on as a replacement for Jackichand.
Mumbai City FC
Amrinder Singh- 7.0
Amrinder pulls off good save
After trailing early, Amrinder kept the Islanders in the game with a smart save in the first half. Vineeth’s powerful strike from the box was splendidly tucked away from danger by the 24-year-old. He also made a comfortable save from Dimitar Berbatov’s effort.
Mehrajuddin Wadoo- 6.5
Wadoo and Davinder were caught napping when the hosts opened their account. The veteran defender recovered well in the second half to keep Blasters attackers at arm’s length. He made a diving tackle inside the box to prevent Vineeth taking the game away from Mumbai.
Davinder Singh- 6.5.
Davinder making his ISL debut put up a valiant display in the second half after he struggled to counter the threat of Vineeth at the beginning.The 22-year-old’s best moment came when he made an outstanding tackle on Sifneos, who was almost through on goal.
Abinash Ruidas- 6.0
Ruidas made a rocky start to the game after he failed to spot Anto’s run that led to the opening goal. He tried to redeem himself by delivering a fantastic cross into the box but Jorda’s header wasn’t strong enough to test Blasters keeper Paul Rachubka.
Sehnaj Singh- 6.5
If Mehtab Hossain managed to frustrate Berbatov last week, it was a different story for Sehnaj in Kochi. The defensive midfielder struggled to stop the Bulgarian roaming into dangerous positions and providing that killer final passes. If not for some poor finishing from Blasters’ attacking unit, it would have been a game to forget for Sehnaj & Co.
Balwant Singh- 8.0
Balwant Singh Hero of the Match
It was a tale of two halves for Balwant. The Indian striker cut a frustrated figure during the first half, but after the interval, he had two big chances. He made a complete mess of the first one after Pritam’s mistake allowed him a free run on the right. But, he made a perfectly timed run to score the goal that helped Mumbai grab a point in Kochi.
Sanju Pradhan- NA
Pradhan, who came on for Balwant was only introduced in the 90th minute and made no significant contribution.