Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of this evening's Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) clash being played at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa.
This was Neeladri Bhattacharjee bringing you the pre-match buildup and minute-by-minute updates. That was all for the night. We will be back with live action tomorrow.
Thanks for tuning in and take very good care of yourselves.
Ivan Vukomanovic, Head Coach, KBFC: " We had special reason to win today, because we lost two palyers with injuries and we had to fight in this match for him (Jessel Carneiro). I would like to congratulate our opponents, coming into the game with all the COVID worries. We are happy that we have won because we have three more points and a clean sheet and hope to continue the same in the future."
Puitea, KBFC: "I think we dominated the game today, but we were a bit tired in the second half. But, I think we deserved the three points. Right now, we are in a process and we have a lot of games to play."
Harmanjot Khabra, KBFC: "It is my first goal in ISL. We are missing Jessel, as well as Rahul. The goal is very special to me and credit goes to the whole team, especially Luna -- he makes it. It is good when you have got the man you have played in past seasons (about Nishu Kumar)."
Odisha FC 0-2 Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Odisha FC to return to the to pof the table with 20 points, one more than Jamshedpur FC, extending its unbeaten run further.
90+4' Double Substitution for KBFC! IN: Givson Singh, Chencho Gyeltshen,
Jorge Diaz, Adrian Luna
90' Vazquez tries to feed in the ball for Pereyra, but concedes a corner, which after a toss of headers, is cleared away by Javi
86' Shot! Vazquez takes a shot from the free kick, but the ball is just a foot-wide as Vukomanovic's side continues to try and increase its lead
85' Substitution for KBFC! Ayush Adhikari replaces Puitea, who was on a yellow card, booked in the 81st minute
84' Chance! Nandha makes a run along the right and his cross for Jonathas is cleared by Sipovic. But he crosses again, which was horribly wrong and miles away from Jonathas
82' A yellow card for Puitea infuriates the whole KBFC bench and their protests are rewarded with two more booking - one for the head-coach and the other for the physio
80' As the match resumed after the cooling break, KBFC looks to be comfortable with the lead it has, but just then Khabra deivers a long ball for Pereyra, but he handles the ball, ending that attempt right there
75' Two substitutions in two minutes for Odisha! In: Sebastian Zo, Paul Ramfangzauva, Out: Hendry Antonay, Isaac Chhakchhuak
75' Shot! Javi tries to go for goal from the free kick, but the ball is about a yard over the bar
73' OFC tries to get on the attack with Javi starting the attack, passing it to Jerry on the right, but his ball for the substitute Paul is caught by Gill first to contain the attack
71' Chance for Odisha! A cross played in by Jerry from the right is connected well by Jonathas, but it is just over the goal
69' Substitution for KBFC! Prashanth Karuthadathkuni comes on for Samad Sahal as KBFC tries to inject more pace in attack in the last quarter or so of the match
68' Off-side! Vazquez gets another through ball along the right and he nicks the ball over the keeper, but the linesmen have the flag up
67' Chance! Javi delivers a lofted free-kick, which after another header, falls for Jonathas, who heads the ball on target, where Gill is there to catch it easily
63' Save! OFC delivers a through ball for Jonathas, who makes a run into the box and shoots. But Gill saves it with a full-stretched fingertip save
62' Shot! Jonathas Cristian was dispossessed, but a sloppy ball given away by Sahal is shot hard by Thoiba from distance, but it was off-target
61' Odisha goes on an attack with small passes in the final third, until the ball falls for Jerry and his cross falls for Gill to but the attack to bed
58' Another shot by Vazquez from distance! He gets the ball on the right flank, which he hits in his first touch, but Arshdeep Singh gets the ball in his control easily
56' Vazquez makes a run along the right on the other end, passes it to Khabra, who then crosses the ball, which is not met by any KBFC player close to the box and Nishu's shot in the end is off-target
54' Chance! Nandha makes a run along the left and his deep cross is just missed by Jerry who makes a flying effort to head the ball into the net
51' Jerry tries to make a run along the right channel, but KBFC gets back the ball. The men in yellow are controlling the game comfortably now
49' Chance! KBFC tries to form a diagonal three-man network as Luna delivers the ball from the left into the box, but Pereyra misses to get on top of the ball
Odisha FC 0-2 Kerala Blasters
Ivan Vukomanovic's boys went on top of the table with two first half-goals and will return to the top of the table if they can manage to defend the lead in the next half.
45+3' Chance! Sahal gets the ball in the box, but Rodas does just enough to keep the score 2-0 in KBFC's favour
45+3' Odisha tries to go on an attack in stoppage time, but the KBFC defence weaving a net, which puts the ball back into KBFC's possession as Luna tries to slow the ball down
44' Its is all yellow shirts in the Odisha half as Khabra tries to go for another goal, but this time from distance. But the ball is miles away as he raises his hand in apology
40' GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!! Harmajot Khabra doubles the lead for KBFC with a bullet header from a corner kick
OFC 0-2 KBFC
36' Chance on the other end! Javi's free kick is met by Hector as he tries to flick the ball into the net form the right, but Gill was there to catch the ball comfortably
35' Shot! Vazque tries to go for goal from a couple of yards from the midfield, but the Ronaldinho-esque attempt is just off target
33' After both the teams resume playing after the cooling break, the yellow shirts are back in attack as Pereyra goes down in the box. But the referee gives a goal kick in favour of OFC.
28' GOOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! KBFC gets the first goal with a sublime finish by Nishu Kumar
OFC 0-1 KBFC
26' Save! Javi gets the ball in the final third from Jerry and he goes for goal with a left-footed shot and Gill meets it equally well to fist the the ball away
23' Puitea and Jerry have been having a tactical duel as Odisha tries to advance into the final third and Nandha gets a free kick
20' Chance! The corner kick first fisted out by Arshdeep is delivered back into the box by Sahal as Khabra tries to head the ball into the net, but Antonay marks him well enough to see the ball go past the goal
18' An aerial pass form the KBFC midfield is deflected out by Rodas, allowing KBFC to get an eventual corner.
15' Yellow Card! Sipovic gets the first yellow card of the match as the KBFC defender says he went for the ball, which he went for actually, but gets booked nevertheless
14' Jerry fouls Putiea and the free kick, which Luna takes, is handled well by Arshdeep with his palm
12' Arshdeep kicks the ball out of play yet iagain. It is his debut this season after Kamaljit Singh missed out with a suspected COVID-19 case.
6' Save! Lovely play between Luna and Vazquez and then Sahal gets the ball in the box, but the OFC keeper gets to the ball first as KBFC's first real chance to score ends up to nothing further
7:30 pm: Kick off!
The ISL Match between OFC and KBFC is underway with the host starting from left to right, with Kerala Blasters starting from the other end.
7:20 pm: 10 Minutes to Kick off!
The players are out on the pitch and are warming up, with one side trying to go on top and the other trying to break into top four.
7:00 pm: HEAD-TO-HEAD: Kerala Blaster and Odisha FC have met five times, with Odisha winning two matches and drawing as many, while KBFC has emerged victorious just once.
6:35 pm: Confirmed Line-ups are out!
Odisha FC Starting XI: Arshdeep Singh, Hendry Antonay, Hector Rodas, Victor Mongil, Lalruatthara, Sahil Panwar, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Liridon Krasniqi, Issac Chhakchhuak, Nandhakumar Sekar, Javier Hernandez
Kerala Blasters Starting XI: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Harmanjot Khabra, Ruivah Hormipam, Enes Sipovic, Nishu Kumar, Sahal Samad, Khawlhring Lalthathanga, Jeakson Singh, Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez, Jorge Pereyra
6:20 PM: This ISL fixture was in danger of getting postponed after a player tested COVID-19 positive ahead of the match. Later, it was revealed that the player was from Odisha FC.
All players from both camps were then tested and no other COVID positive cases were recorded. As a result, the match was allowed to progress as scheduled.
6:00 pm: Here's how we think the two sides would line up for the match:
Odisha FC Predicted XI: Kamaljit Singh, Hendry Antonay, Hector Rodas, Victor Mongil, Sahil Panwar, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Thoiba Singh, Issac Chhakchhuak, Nandhakumar Sekar, Aridai Cabrera, Javier Hernandez
Kerala Blasters Predicted XI: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Harmanjot Khabra, Ruivah Hormipam, Marko Leskovic, Jessel Carneiro, Sahal Samad, Khawlhring Lalthathanga, Jeakson Singh, Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez, Jorge Pereyra
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Kerala Blasters is on a dream run that has taken it to the top of the table at the halfway stage of the ISL.
And that is someplace the men from Kochi have not been to in seven years. They would surely march on to Vasco’s Tilak Maidan Stadium on Wednesday night confident of putting on another good show, against Odisha FC.
Odisha won’t exactly be short on confidence, either. In its last match, it had stunned defending champion Mumbai City 4-2.
Despite that splendid victory, Odisha is placed eighth, with 13 points from nine matches. Blasters has 17, from 10 games.
In the last nine of those matches, it hasn’t lost even once. A solid defence and some superb saves under the bar are among the reasons for that.
Blasters has been as impressive in the midfield and up front too. Adrian Luna, the talented midfielder from Uruguay, has been its standout performer, and there have been fine shows from the likes of Sahal Samad, Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Alvaro Vazquez as well.
Odisha defence has to be at its best if they want to stop those men from shaking the net behind their goalkeeper. The fact is Odisha hasn’t defended well enough this season, having let in 22 goals; no team has conceded more.
Once again, Odisha will be looking to Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who scored two lovely goals in that come-from-behind victory over Mumbai, for inspiration. The Kalinga Warriors will be hoping for an encore from the 24-year-old.
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