ISL 2020-21 highlights, KBFC vs HFC: Hakku, Murray goals give Kerala Blasters first win, Hyderabad suffers another loss

ISL 2020-21, HFC vs KBFC: Goals from Abdul Hakku and Jordan Murray give Kerala Blasters FC a 2-0 win over Hyderabad FC at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim.

Kerala Blasters players celebrate Hakku's goal against Hyderabad FC in the ISL.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's ISL highlights of the match between Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad FC.

That's all we have for tonight. Tomorrow will be a big one between Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC. [PREVIEW] Pradhum Reddy on air says the season could be over for Bengaluru winger Ashique Kuruniyan. We will probably find the latest on that tomorrow. Until then, it's good night.

MATCH REPORT | Hakku, Murray steer Kerala Blasters to first win of the season

Kerala Blasters coach Kibu Vicuna "I am happy with the win. We performed well. We switched [style of play] because of the players we had in the XI. I am happy with Sandeep and Hakku's performances and Jeakson. We changed a little bit. It was a practical approach. [If he will stick with youngsters for next match vs Mumbai City] Let us enjoy this win and think tomorrow. For me there is no difference between foreign and Indian players. When a train is coming you take the bag and take the train That's what these players did."

Hyderabad coach Manolo Marquez "I am very disappointed. Not only for the scoreline but we had clear chances before the goals. Fran had a chance I am not happy with performance. Players are very tired. Maybe we are now playing all games with same players and some are not fresh. Liston arrived at the last moment to play this game. They deserved to win. We had our chances too. I don't know, i am not satisfied about how we start the game. We both had same foreigners and Indian players. [Chianese, Sastre, additions in January?] They are close to playing. Now we play on Wednesday which could be too soon for both to play. One can maybe get some minutes. Let's see if we can sign another foreigner. Fran will be an important player. Two successive defeats now we are ready for Wednesday [vs Goa]."

"Over the moon. Difficult start for us. Confidence was missing after the results earlier. [on changes to the side] Obviously, me and Gary are good friends. He is a terrific player. We push each other. It's a competition but we are pushing each other. We are trining, crossing and defending to exploit Hyderabad. Sahal, Facundo and Rahul did well. Football is more of a group game," says Jordan Murray.

"This win was really important for us. Important 3 points. Now focus for next game. Its about getting better day-by-day, which I am doing. This will boost our energy and confidence," says Jeakson Singh

Podcast: Shyam Vasudevan and Aashin Prasad review the ups and downs of matchweek 5 of the Indian Super League on The Full Time Show.

 

Post match comments to follow...

FULL-TIME. Kerala Blasters wins its first game of the season. With a weakened team, Blasters come out fighting to take the three points against an off-colour Hyderabad team.  Every Blasters player put in an impressive shift to see out the win. Rahul KP was the standout player in that team with his pace, dribbling ability and workrate.  Hakku, who was making his first start of the season, gave the side the lead before Murray capped off a work-man like performance with a goal at the end.

90'+2' Laldanmawia is booked for a dangerous foul on Gomez

90'+1' Ball breaks kindly to Santana, who turns and shoots at goal. But his shot is tame and rolls into the hands of Albino.

Five minutes of added time

90' KBFC SUB: Murray OFF, Prashant ON

88' GOAL! KBFC 2-0 HFC! Jordan Murray seals the first win for Kerala Blasters, well nearly. Rohit runs down the left and plays into the box where Adil's ricocheted clearance is set up for Murray to volley it into the bottom corner!

87' Superb save by Albino! Hakku botches a header clearance and Sandaza runs onto the end of it and runs into the Blasters box. His shot is saved well by Albino

85' Pereyra wins a freekick against Rai inside his own half.

82' Murray plays in Rahul on the right down the channel. He beats Mishra before taking a shot at goal which Subrata does well to keep out.

80' HFC SUB: Chinglensena OFF, Adil ON

80' The ball played in behind the Blasters defence for Halicharan, who cuts in past two defenders before unleashing a curler, which flies narrowly over the bar.

78' KBFC SUB: Sahal OFF, Rohit ON

77' Victor makes room for himself and looks for a shot from distance, which flies over the bar.

75' Water break is called.

74' HFC SUB: Hitesh OFF, Sandaza ON

73' Halicharan is bodied by Nishu. Play is stopped for the moment as the HFC winger is down on the ground.

71' Foul from Rahul KP on Hyderabad player. Referee issues a final warning for the winger.

67' A proper scrap inside the Kerala box. Gomez looks to dribble out of his own box but has the ball dispossessed off him before escaping danger.

66' HFC SUBS: Liston, Yasir OFF; Laldanmawia Ralte, Souvik ON

63' Poor giveaway by Nishu under pressure inside his own half. Mishra strikes a cross into the box which Hakku hits it against Sandeep and the ball goes away from goal.

60' Jessel clips the heels off Liston and he is down on the floor momentarily.

58' Kerala on the break. Sahal into Murray and he sets up Rahul in the middle. The winger takes a shot at goal which needs a superb save from Subrata.

READ | Who is Kerala Blasters' goalscorer Abdul Hakku?

57' Long ball into the box by Gomez and Murray holds off Sena but his sidefooted shot lacks power.

54' Liston cuts in from the right and drills a shot at goal but Hakku is in the way to get the block. From Yasir's corner, Albino misses with his punch but his defender gets in the cover.

51' Superb from Kerala. Jeakson finds Rahul, who plays in Pereyra in the middle. Pereyra looks up and fids Sahal in acres of space on the left flank. Sahal takes a touch and goes for a left-footed shot which narrowly misses the goal.

50' Ball played into Sahal on the edge of the box, who plays in Jessel on the left and the leftback's shot is wide of the goal.  Vicuna is frustrated with Jessel's failure to find his teammate from the position.

47' Akash Mishra is struggling to keep up with Rahul KP on the left flank. He sets up Nishu for a cross after some skilful play. Nishu's cross doesnt trouble the Hyderabad defence.

46' The second half is underway. No changes for both teams. Gomez with a left-footed volley which Subrata does well to collect.

SECOND HALF

Half-time whistle called. Excellent fight shown from an inexperienced Blasters team. They have pressed, harried Hyderabad into making mistakes and worked hard for this lead. Local boy Hakku scored with a powerful header on his first start. Hyderabad came back strongly and came close to equalising at the death. No doubt it will come back stronger again in the second period.

Three minutes of added time

45' Nearly the equaliser! Superb build up play from Hyderabad. Victor slips in a ball behind Kerala's defence for Ashish, who plays in a low cross into the six yard box where Santana's toe-poke goes narrowly wide of the goal.

43' Foul from Pereyra on Victor.

40' Ashish gives away the ball under pressure from Sahal. He plays it into Pereyra, whose dangerous cross is deflected into the hands of Subrata. 

37' Poor giveaway from Sahal in his own half and Hyderabad breaks forward with the ball. The cross from the left is over Narzary.

36' After a good run with the ball. Jeakson is sandwiched between two Hyderabad players and he wins a freekick. Good pressure from Blasters to force the ball away from their own box.

33' Liston on the freekick and he rifles it over the bar.

32' Jeakson is booked for a foul on Yasir. Blasters players are not happy with the referee's situation.

30' Water break called.

29' GOAL! KBFC 1-0 HFC! Abdul Hakku puts Blasters into the lead! Pereyra with an outswinging corner and Hakku loses his marker at the edge of the six yard box and powers home the header.

28' Odei challenges Jeakson from a freekick and he ends up heading it behind for another Kerala corner.

24' Odei puts the ball behind for a corner under pressure from Murray. Threat averted with Subrata pushing it away from goal.

22' Yasir gets the better of Hakku and cuts in to the centre before teeing up Santana for a shot but his shot too is straight at Gomes.

21' Poor clearance from Sahal fon the freekick with the ball ballooning back into the Blasters box but the header is straight at Gomes.

20' Back-to-back fouls from Kerala on the right side and Sahal goes into the referee's notebook for hauling down the player.

16' A switch in play to Rahul on the right and he flicks the ball over Akash to get on the end of it before hooking in a cross. The ball breaks down the flank for Nishu, who volleys a powerful shot straight at Subrata.

15' Liston cuts in from the left and takes a low shot which is stopped by Albino.

13' Murray gooes for the bicycle kick inside Hyderabad box and the referee calls it dangerous play and awards a foul in favour of Hyderabad.

12' A cross from the right for Hyderabad but Santana is put off by a push on the back by Nishu. But the referee fails to spot it.

11' Nearly the opening goal for Kerala. Sahal nicks the ball off Ashish from a long ball but his cutback is crucially intercepted by Odei.

7' Brilliant from Yasir. He takes on Blasters right side and wins a corner. Short corner routine with Ashish Rai swinging in a cross but Santana can't gte his header on target.

4' Murray wins an aerial challenge against Sena inside the Hyderabad box but he is closed down by Victor before he could take a shot at goal.

3' Blasters are playing a 4-2-3-1 formation with Sahal, Pereyra, Rahul slotting in behind Murray.

1' Hyderabad kicks off from left to right.

FIRST HALF

7.24 pm: Hyderabad make its way out in its away black kits and is followed by the designated home side Blasters.

7.18 pm: Hyderabad has conceded 5 of its 6 goals in its last 3 games. Can Blasters cause further dent in Hyderabad's defence?

7.10 pm: Sahal Abdul Samad returned to the Blasters team for the first time in a month against East Bengal and provided the assist for the late equaliser. In the 45 minutes of action, he showed flashes of what he can provide with this misfiring Kerala Blasters team. Read Aashin Prasad's Sahal-watch and more on Kibu Vicuna's 'favourite player in the ISL'. (READ)

7 pm: Halicharan Narzary, who will face off against his former club, is one of six goalscoring Indian midfielders this season. The 26-year-old winger has attempted most shots by an Indian player this season (18) and averages three shots per match. Narzary has also created five chances, which is already his best return in a single season.

Podcast: Shyam Vasudevan and Aashin Prasad review the ups and downs of matchweek 5 of the Indian Super League on The Full Time Show.

 

6.50 pm: Hyderabad will look to bounce back from the defeat against Mumbai City in the last game. Just one change to the line-up. Liston Colaco comes in place of Nikhil Poojary. It also receives a big boost in the form of Fran Sandaza's return.

Midfielder Vicente Gomez makes his sixth start of the season. He has been a key driving force in the middle of the park for Blasters this season. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

6.40 pm: Interesting from the Kerala Blasters. Five changes to the team from the last match. Just three overseas players in the matchday squad as its centreback mainstays Costa Nhamoinesu and Bakary Kone miss out. Abdul Hakku and Sandeep Singh will get their first starts of the season in their absence. As expected Sahal Abdul Samad and Jeakson Singh come straight into the XI. No Gary Hooper in the squad as well.

Striker Aridane Santana is Hyderabad's top-scorer with four goals and is fourth on the overall list this season. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

6.30 pm: Team news is in

Kerala Blasters XI (4-3-3)

Albino Gomes; Nishu Kumar, Abdul Hakku, Sandeep Singh, Jessel Carneiro; Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Jeakson Singh; Rahul KP, Facundo Pereyra, Jordan Murray

Hyderabad FC XI (4-2-3-1)

Subrata Paul; Asish Rai, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensena Singh, Akash Mishra; Joao Victor, Hitesh Sharma; Liston Colaco, Mohammed Yasir, Halicharan Narzary; Aridane Santana

Odei Onaindia (L) and Joao Victor ahead of the game against Blasters. The Spanish duo has been the only overseas players to feature in every Hyderabad games this season. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

6.10 pm: Here are our predicted XIs for both sides.

Kerala Blasters predicted XI (4-3-3)

Albino Gomes; Nishu Kumar, Costa Nhamoinesu, Bakary Kone, Jessel Carneiro; Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Rohit Kumar; Rahul KP, Facundo Pereyra, Gary Hooper

Hyderabad FC predicted XI (4-2-3-1)

Subrata Paul; Asish Rai, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensena Singh, Akash Mishra; Joao Victor, Hitesh Sharma; Liston Colaco, Mohammed Yasir, Halicharan Narzary; Aridane Santana

6.03 pm: Will today be the day, Kerala Blasters ends its winless run in the ongoing season? There aren't any easy games as Hyderabad FC has proved to be more than formidable opponent under Manuel Marquez. Blasters have key players back form injuries and suspension, and gave a good account of itself in the 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal last week.

MATCH PREVIEW

Only three teams, out of 11, are without a win so far at the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season. Kerala Blasters FC has an opportunity to bring that number down to two on Sunday, when it takes on Hyderabad FC at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, Goa.

But the men from Kochi will need to come up with an improved display if they want to end their streak of six matches without a victory. They are languishing in the ninth place, with just three points, six less than their rival.

There is room for improvement in every department, but Blasters would be particularly keen to tighten the defence: they have so far let in 11 goals; no team has conceded more.

Not that the defenders' colleagues up front have fared any better. Blasters boast the dubious record for attempting the lowest number of shots.

Kibu Vicuna's boys haven't been able to create too many chances, either. But the coach sounded confident of a turnaround on the eve of the match.

“We are improving and taking steps forward,” he said. “I have the confidence that we are going to play a good match.”

He, however, conceded that Hyderabad was a difficult opponent. "Hyderabad had positives in the last match (against Mumbai),” he pointed out. “They didn't play badly but they lost. So yes, we are expecting a tough challenge but we have been training well.”

His counterpart, Manuel Marquez, returned the compliment. “They have very good players and maybe they deserve more points than they have,” said the Hyderabad coach.

“They have great players in all positions from the goalkeeper until the forwards and the coach (Vicuna) won the I-League last season. For sure, it will be an equal game.”

If there is one Hyderabad player that is capable of ensuring that the points need not be equally divided at the end of the match, it is Aridane Santana.

With four goals, the Spanish striker is one of the leading scorers of the season. Blasters cannot afford to let him loose.

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The Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) marks the return of major league competition in India after the nationwide lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak was first imposed in March.

The seventh edition of the ISL got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.

ISL 2020-21 points table

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following the inclusion of SC East Bengal, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

ISL 2020 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.