Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of this evening's Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters FC Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) final played at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa. This was Aneesh Dey bringing you all the pre-match buildup and live updates from the final.
Hyderabad FC players reactions!!
Stay tuned for post-match comments!
HYDERABAD FC WINS THE ISL TITLE!! ITS FIRST ISL TITLE!!
Kerala Blasters 1-3 Hyderabad FC: HALICHARAN NARZARY SCORES!!
If Hyderabad scores its next penalty, the Nizams win their maiden ISL title.
Kerala Blasters 1-2 Hyderabad FC: Kattimani saves Jeakson's penalty!
Kerala Blasters 1-2 Hyderabad FC: Khassa Camara takes a stutter and converts his penalty!
Kerala Blasters 1-1 Hyderabad FC: Ayush Adhikari scores his penalty to open Kerala's tally in this shootout!
Kerala Blasters 0-1 Hyderabad FC: Javier Siverio cannot keep his penalty on target and skies it!
Kerala Blasters 0-1 Hyderabad FC: Kattimani saves Nishu Kumar's penalty after the retake!
Kerala Blasters 0-1 Hyderabad FC: Joao Victor scores!
Kerala Blasters 0-0 Hyderabad FC: Kattimani saves Leskovic's penalty!
Kerala Blasters to start the shootout!
All square between the two team after 120 minutes of football. The final will be decided by a penalty shootout!
121' Gill comes out to punch the corner away.
120' Good move by Hyderabad to earn a corner- last chance to win the game before penalties.
117' Hormipam does well to deny Halicharan from crossing the ball inside the box. The cramp issues seems to be persistent.
115' Chencho tries to cut in and curl the ball to the far-post. However, his shot is blocked.
113' KBFC Booking- Ayush Adhikari is shown yellow.
111' KBFC Sub: IN- Vincy Barretto OUT: Alvaro Vazquez.
110' Siverio does great to set up Ogbeche for the shot. The Nigerian tries to place the ball inside the net with a first-time shot but Leskovic is there to clear the ball.
107' Hormipam lunges to take the ball away from Akash Mishra but does not get the ball. Instead, he seems to be suffering from a bout of cramp.
2nd period of extra-time is underway!
End of the 1st peiod of extra-time!
Luna seems to have been involved in a tussle with the Hyderabad bench. The referee has a talk with him but does not penalize further.
102' Off the crossbar- Luna's , taking a Kerala freekick, fizzed a cross from the left. Leskovic met the ball and guided it towards goal but is inches from scoring as the ball hits the crossbar.
98' KBFC Sub: IN- Ayush Adhikari OUT: Lalthathanga Khawlhring (Puitea).
98' Ogbeche goes for goal with an overhead kick from close-range. He catches the ball well but cannot keep his effort on the target.
95' Shot- Halicharan with an ambitious effort from distance but it is nowhere near the goal.
93' Chencho is brought down inside the box but it is nothing close to a penalty.
92' KBFC Sub: IN- Chencho Gyeltshen OUT- Jorge Pereyra Diaz .
91' Hyderabad FC has started the first period of extra-time brightly.
1st period of Extra-time is underway!
Full time! (Hyderabad FC 1-1 Kerala Blasters FC): All square at full-time, the match will not move to 30 minutes of extra-time. If the teams cannot be separated even after that, it will be a penalty-shootout to decide the winner.
90+4' Shot- Nishu turns and shoots at goal but his shot is blocked by his own player- Adrian Luna who was in an offside position.
90+2' Nishu is played a good aerial ball but he is offside. Replay shows that he was not too far offside.
Four added minutes!
90' Close- Luna floats a wonderful ball to Vazquez from the left. Vazquez gets a header away but cannot keep his header on target.
88' GOOOAALLL!!! HYDERABAD FC EQUALIZES!!! ITS A STUNNER BY TAVORA!! Tavora has scored one of the goals of the season to equalize for his team with two minutes to go in the ISL final. It was a first-time shot from outside the box as the ball was flicked away from goal by Leskovic.
86' HFC Sub- IN: Khassa Camara and Aaren D'Silva OUT: Juanan and Yasir Mohammad.
86' Save- Luna's shot at goal is saved by Kattimani but he should have done better to keep the ball. Kerala looked like scoring its second from the rebound but Kattimani ultimately gets the ball.
84' Akash Mishra brings down Nishu Kumar just outside the box. Freekick to Kerala. Kerala players and Ivan Vukomanovic want a red card but referee says nothing doing.
83' Shot- Vazquez cuts in from the left and shoots at Kattimani's near-post. The shot had power but Kattimani had it covered and catches the ball without fuss.
81' KBFC Booking- Kerala's Jorge Pereyra Diaz is shown a yellow card.
81' KBFC Sub: IN- Nishu Kumar OUT- Rahul KP.
10 minutes plus added time- that's how long Kerala has to hold on to win its maiden ISL title.
Second Drinks break!
76' Save- Ogbeche goes for goal with a venomous shot but Gill shows his class with a great save once again. The rebound falls to Joao Victor who goes for goal but is blocked by Rahul KP.
75' Rahul KP fouls Ogbeche and Hyderabad has a freekick right at the edge of the box. Kerala players are protesting against the decision
74' Sandeep puts in a good challenge to prevent Asish Rai from crossing from the right flank.
71' HFC Sub: IN- Halicharan Narzary and Sahil Tavora OUT- Aniket Jadhav and Sauvik Chakrabarti.
69' GOOOAALLLL!!! KERALA BLASTERS SCORES!! RAHUL KP!! Rahul KP takes a shot from outside the box. Kattimani gets a touch but the ball slips from his grasp and creeps inside the net. Poor goalkeeping by the Hyderabad keeper there.
65' Block- Siverio's shot is blocked well by Khabra who lunged in at the last moment to take the sting away from the shot and send the ball out for a Hyderabad corner.
62' Save- Ogbeche does well to turn and create a yard of space for him at the edge of the Kerala box. He takes a shot but Gill gathers the ball confidently.
60' Shot- Puitea takes a shot from the left side of the Hyderabad box but misses the target. Vazquez doesn't look pleased as he felt Puitea should have squared the ball to him.
59' Possession Stat- Kerala Blasters dominating the ball with 59% of the ball.
55' Shot- Jeakson slips a ball to Ogbeche who had a made a good run inside the box. The Nigerian takes a shot but skies it- not something we see quite often from him.
52' Aniket tries to find Siverio with a floated cross from the left but the cross has too much weight and the ball goes out for a Kerala goalkick.
49' Save- Joao Victor aims for the bottom corner as he shoots from distance. But Gill gets down in time to make the save.
47' Kerala Blasters has started the second half positively- similar to that of the first. It has won an early corner in the second half.
No half-time changes to report!
Second half is underway!
Kerala Blasters FC was the better team over the first 45 minutes but Hyderabad FC had its chances too.
KBFC's Alvaro Vazquez came closest to scoring in the half after his shot across goal cannoned off the crossbar and came back into play in the 38th minute.
Hyderabad FC suffered an injury crisis in the first half after Joel Chianese had to be substituted for Javier Siverio. Siverio looked bright after coming on. In the 45th minute, he had a brilliant chance to score the opener through a header from a Hyderabad freekick. But, Prabhsukhan Gill showed why he has won the Golden Boot this season with a wonderful save.
Don't go anywhere. Live-action coming up from the second half.
Half time! (Hyderabad FC 0-0 Kerala Blasters FC)
45+1' Save- Prabhsukhan Gill makes a brilliant save off Siverio's header from a Hyderabad freekick. Siverio was completely unmarked as he guided his header towards Gill but the Golden Glove winner was well-positioned to make the save.
Two added minutes!
42' Rahul is played a good ball by Diaz from the middle of the park but the former could not reach the ball. It eventually rolled out for a Hyderabad goalkick.
39' A good counter by Hyderabad. Siverio had a good chance to play Ogbeche but the Spaniard took to much time and the chance was gone.
38' Off the crossbar- Vazquez's shot thunders off the crossbar and comes back into play. Diaz's shot is blocked and Rahul KP misses the rebound.
38' HFC Sub- IN: Javier Siverio OUT: Joel Chianese.
38' Joel Chianese's cross to Ogbeche from the right flank is overhit. It was a good move till the cross came into the box.
Hyderabad FC seems to have gotten a grip of the game after the water break. It is keeping the ball well and waiting patiently to find that opening in the Kerala defence.
34' Asish Rai crosses inside the box from the right. His initial target was Ogbeche but the cross was too close to Gill, who collects comfortably.
First Drinks break!
30' Shot- Adrian Luna tries a curler from distance. The ball had dip and swerve but not the necessary power to trouble Kattimani.
26' Puitea wrestles Joao Victor to the ground and it is a freekick to Hyderabad FC.
We're just hearing that Javier Siverio has been asked to warm up and it's only the 23rd minute! Looks like Chianese is well and truly struggling.
21' Rahul has a go from distance....but he goes for the chip instead of power and it sails into the stands.
20' A late challenge on Luna from Chianese. Luna gets caught on the ankle, but the referee does not show any cards.
18' Luna makes a run down the left flank and drills a low cross into the box but there's no one at the end of it. Yet another good move from Kerala Blasters. Hyderabad has not created any real attacking chance yet.
15' Joao Victor is lucky to escape a booking there. He slides into a Blasters player but is not penalised. The Blasters faithful, dominating the stands, aren't very pleased with that to say the least.
14' A chance for Diaz! Khabra curls in a looping cross towards the centre of the box and Diaz beats his marker in Asish but can't get the header off. That was a move straight from the training ground - we saw Khabra practicing those crosses yesterday.
Prabhsukhan Gill appears to be in a spot of bother. He's gone down in a heap and is receiving medical attntion.
11' First save of the game! Sauvik receives the ball and works his way into space before letting one rip. He strikes it well but it sails into Gill's palms.
10' Chianese gets pulled back by Luna, but there's no real damage done. Chianese made a comeback to the starting XI today.
8' Rahul KP slides in to win the ball in the attacking third and there's a hint of handball, but the referee sees nothing wrong there. Rahul's coloured his hair blue for the final! A lucky charm perhaps?
7' That was a good-looking ball that was meant to split the defence and find Vazquez....but Chinglensana intercepts to perfection. The Blasters are pushing Hyderabad deep into its half.
5' The two sides are evenly-placed when it comes to their head to head stats - both sides have won thrice in the six games they've played.
4' That's a nasty tackle from Sandeep. He catches Yasir on the ankle and is booked! Sandeep was way too late on that tackle and picks up a yellow card. He's got to be very very cautious now!
1' A lovely long ball sees Luna storm into the box and square it for Vazquez, but Akash swoops in to clear the danger. How delicate was that touch from Luna? Wow!
1' KICK OFF!
7:30 pm- And we are underway!
7:20 pm- What are the coaches saying?
7:00 pm- STAT!
Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters FC have not lost a single match after scoring first this season. KBFC has won 10 and drawn 4 after scoring first while HFC have won 9 and drawn 1 of their matches.
On the other hand, KBFC have not won a single match after conceding the first goal this season.
6:40 pm: It is great to see the fans back!
6:34 pm: Starting lineups are out!
Hyderabad FC Starting XI: Kattimani(GK); Asish, Chinglesana, Juanan, Mishra; Sauvik, Joao, Yasir, Aniket; Chianese, Ogbeche
Subs: Gurmeet(GK); Nim; Khassa, Sahil, Hitesh, Halicharan, Mark; Aaren, Siverio.
Coach: Manolo Marquez
Kerala Blasters Starting XI: Gill(GK); Ruivah, Marko, Sandeep; Khabra, Jeakson, Lalthathanga, Luna; Rahul, Vazquez, Diaz.
Coach: Ivan Vukomanovic
6:15 pm: Head-To-Head record!
Overall: Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC have won 3 matches apiece against each other. There have been no draws in the 6 encounters between these two clubs.
This season: Both teams have won a match each. Kerala Blasters FC got the better of Hyderabad in their first meeting in January. Both teams went into the match on an eight-match unbeaten run. Hyderabad FC came out on top in the second meeting between the two in the league stage.
6:00 pm- Our predicted XI for tonight's final!
Hyderabad FC Predicted XI: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK), Nim Dorjee, Chinglensana Singh, Juanan, Akash Mishra, Sauvik Chakrabarti, Joao Victor (C), Yasir Mohammad, Aniket Jadhav, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Javier Siverio.
Kerala Blasters FC Predicted XI: Prabhsukhan Gill (GK), Ruivah Hormipam, Marko Leskovic, Sanjeev Stalin, Harmanjot Khabra, Sahal Samad, Ayush Adhikari, Adrian Luna (C), Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Diaz.
The Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 final was the first ISL match to be held behind closed doors at the Pandit Jawaharlal Stadium in Fatorda (Goa) amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak. A year later, the same stadium is set to open its gates for the fans after two years as Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters gear up to smear the stadium yellow on Sunday.
Kerala Blasters will hope the third time's the charm after failing to lift the trophy in its two earlier appearances in the ISL summit clash. It comes into the match on a five-match unbeaten run and will look to wrap up what has been the club's most successful season this far. The last team KBFC lost in the league was against Hyderabad FC — its opponent in the final.
Manolo Marquez’s men have risen from the bottom of the table to the top-two of the Championship in two years and will eye the title in their very first appearance in the final.
The two sides have equally divided stakes with each side winning three matches each in the six clashes between them and every alternate match had a different winner.
Kerala’s strength lies in its counter-attacks
Kerala’s strength has been attacking on the counter, with long balls arriving from the midfield into the box, aiding forwards Alvaro Vazquez and Jose Pereyra Diaz to guide the ball into the net. The same strategy crushed a defensively solid Jamshedpur FC and coach Ivan Vukomanovic is likely to stick to the same plan that has pulled his side to the very end of the tournament.
Adrian Luna, who has been his target man in attack and orchestrates attacks from midfield, however, remains uncertain to start in the finals. Vukomanovic stated that he had taken a knock in the morning. The Uruguayan has scored six goals and crafted seven assists for the Blasters, including a goal in their previous match, and his absence may be a big blow to the three-time finalist.
A ray of hope for them, however, might be a possible return for Sahal Abdul Samad, who had been sidelined in the second leg of the semifinal with a hamstring injury. “Sahal Samad practised today morning and will join the team in the evening session," Vukomanovic told the press before the match.
At the back, KBFC has had the firm pairing of Hormipam Ruivah and Marko Leskovic, with the team having eight clean sheets – the most in the league, as compared Hyderabad's three.
The last time Kerala Blasters reached the finals, Steve Coppell was the coach and Vukomanovic was managing a club in Slovakia, while Hyderabad FC had not been formed.
The Blasters finished second from the bottom in the league last season and in a year, have earned double the number of points (34) they managed the last time, have beaten the ISL League Winners’ Shield winner, Jamshedpur FC, in the semifinals, and stormed into their third final in the league’s history – the first in six years.
Hyderabad dangerous in set-pieces
Hyderabad FC has been stifled by a coronavirus outbreak but has managed to sail through the semis owing to its attacking prowess and squad depth. “We have prepared all this for this moment,” said HFC captain Joao Victor in the pre-match press conference.
“I think we have tried all our life to play in a game like this. For Bart ( Bartholomew Ogbeche) , Sana (Chinglensana Singh), it is very important for us. It is hard being in a bubble, being away from the family is hard,” he added.
The Nizams have been extremely dangerous through set-pieces and have scored 12 goals from such situations – double of how many goals the Blasters have scores from set-pieces.
Javier Siverio has been Hyderabad's prodigal striker, starting the season as a super-sub and making his way into the starting eleven. Marquez’s side has scored the most goals in the tournament and has the highest goal scorer this season as well as in the League’s history, Ogbeche to lead its attack.
“I am very satisfied with the players. It has been a pleasure coaching these players. It is just one game and anything can happen,” HFC head coach Marquez said.
“You can expect everything in the finals because the situation now is better, because at the same time last month, we did not know which players were fit, as we had seven players who had gone from the hotel straight to the beach,” he added.
When HFC went behind in the first leg of the semifinal against ATK Mohun Bagan, it was Ogbeche who opened the scoring for Hyderabad. However, with Edu Garcia leaving, the Nizams have been forced to push the Nigerian back to the No. 10 position (of an attacking midfielder) in a 4-2-3-1 shape with Siverio heading the attack.
That very shape may be the be-all and end-all for HFC, for KBFC has mastered squeezing out an opposition playing in that shape, i.e. Jamshedpur FC. Greg Stewart, JFC’s No. 10, was cornered by Hormipam Ruivah and Harmanjot Khabra in the semifinal. Whether Ogbeche awaits that fate or not, however, will only be seen in the final.
Marquez arrived at Hyderabad FC after the team's disastrous opening season where it finished at the bottom of the league table. Within two years, he had galvanized the side into a relentless set of sporting individuals playing beautiful football.
As Goa gets to witness a full-capacity of fans into the stadium back again, it is certain that yellow will lift the trophy — whether it is the first-time finalist Hyderabad FC, or the three-time finalist Kerala Blasters.
Where can you watch the final?