Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City FC engaged in a to and fro battle that ended in a goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
Kerala Blasters vs. Mumbai City FC: Big changes by both teams
Kerala Blasters made huge changes to the team that won against North East United when they decided to keep Mohammed Rafi and Josu on the bench. Both Rafi and Josu were instrumental in the last game and Peter Taylor surprised everyone with his decision. Mumbai had their own surprises as well when they decided to leave star striker Frederic Piquionne on the bench.
To and Fro Game in the first half
Haitian midfielder Sony Norde was causing problems early on for the Kerala team. Narde’s pace proved to be a big headache for Kerala and he was creating chances as well. Kerala Blasters, however, held their defence tight and apart from occasional scares, Mumbai failed to find a way through in the early stages.
Victor Herrero Forcada gave the home fans something to cheer about when he almost sneaked in a goal from long range in the 17th minute. His effort, however, was tipped over by Debjit Majumder in the Mumbai Goal. Mumbai then piled up the pressure on their opposition, but none of the moves became fruitful due to proper intervention from Stephen Bywater. The game then shifted to and fro till the end of the first half and both teams were unable to break the deadlock.
High octane Second Half
The second half started at the same pace with which the first one ended. The goalkeepers were called into action early into the second half. Singam Subash tried to shoot one in the 55th minute, but Bywater managed to punch it away in the precise moment.
The home team started gaining some momentum afterwards but just like the first half, the efforts were in vain. In an attempt to break the deadlock, Kerala decided to bring in Sanchez Watt in the 71st minute. Watt replaced Chris Dagnall in the forward line and was soon given company by Joao Coimbra who came on for Forcada.
Watt almost got onto the score sheet in the 80th minute but was denied by a resilient Majumder who put his body on the line to save the shot. Mumbai made their intentions clear by bringing in Piquionne. His impact was immediate as he hit the woodwork just minutes after coming on. Norde then saw his shot go wide. Despite the efforts, the teams failed to find the back of the net and subsequently shared the points at the final whistle.
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