ISL 2019-20, Highlights, NorthEast United FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Blasters fail to capitalize on chances as game ends in goalless draw

Last year's semi-finalists, NorthEast have been pegged back by the premature exit of Ghanaian star Asamoah Gyan from the competition due to an injury

FP Sports February 07, 2020 19:33:58 IST
ISL 2019-20, Highlights, NorthEast United FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Blasters fail to capitalize on chances as game ends in goalless draw
  • A struggling NorthEast United FC can't afford to drop points when they take on Kerala Blasters FC in a must-win Indian Super League match on Friday

  • Last year's semi-finalists, NorthEast have been pegged back by the premature exit of Ghanaian star Asamoah Gyan from the competition due to an injury

  • Ogbeche has been in prolific form with 11 goals for the Kochi-based side and has also netted seven in the last five outings

Click here to follow all the live action from the Indian Super League match between NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC.

Preview: A struggling NorthEast United FC can't afford to drop points when they take on Kerala Blasters FC in a must-win Indian Super League match on Friday.

NorthEast need to win all their remaining five games to stay in the hunt. They are currently on 11 points from 13 games and are ninth on the table. But for a side which has won just two games so far, winning five in a row could be a difficult ask. If NorthEast manage to win all, that might not be enough as they will need other teams above them to drop too many points.

Last year's semi-finalists, NorthEast have been pegged back by the premature exit of Ghanaian star Asamoah Gyan from the competition due to an injury. Since his exit, they haven't scored a single goal in their last four matches.

"We had a lot of problems with strikers. We did not have a second striker. Maximilian (Barreiro) left. After that Asamoah had to leave due to serious injury and also Pana (Panagiotis Triadis). In those four games in a row, we played really well but couldn't score. That is the only problem we have," said NorthEast coach Robert Jarni.

NorthEast also have been hit hard by the departure of last year's top-scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche, who parted ways in the summer to join Kerala Blasters along with Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie.

Ogbeche has been in prolific form with 11 goals for the Kochi-based side and has also netted seven in the last five outings.

Such has been the impact of Ogbeche's departure from NorthEast that the striker has more goals to his name this season than what the Highlanders have collectively scored.

Neither Ogbeche nor Schattorie — who coached NorthEast last season — has had any cause to celebrate either.

The former finalists were within a fighting chance of making it to the top-four but those hopes evaporated after they were grounded by Chennaiyin FC 6-3.

Kerala have now conceded 12 goals in their last three matches, including six at home during the last game.

"That (vs Chennaiyin) was not a complete defensive failure. It was more individual errors, we all know what happened. Till the 38th minute, the match was dominated by us. If you commit such mistakes, we need to address them. We did our work on that and we have to cut down those individual errors which can cost you games," said Kerala Blasters assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed.

Schattorie will continue to be suspended for the clash against NorthEast United.

There is some good news for Kerala as Moustapha Gning and Vlatko Drobarov are back in contention for a start after serving their suspensions.

For the full Indian Super League schedule, click here

For all the results from this Indian Super League season, click here

For the Indian Super League points table, click here

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

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