ISL 2020-21 highlights: NorthEast United beats Kerala Blasters 2-0

ISL 2020-21, NEUFC vs KBFC Updates: Get all the Indian Super League news, score and commentary from the game between Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC.

NorthEast United FC players celebrate one of their two goals against Kerala Blasters FC in the 2020-21 Indian Super League on Friday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

This is Sportstar's ISL 2020-21 blog/highlights of the NorthEast United FC vs Kerala Blasters FC match that was played in Goa on Friday.

The 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) coverage for the day is done and dusted. Tomorrow, Odisha FC will take on SC East Bengal in match 108 of the tournament. Until then, it is good night from all of us!

NEUFC head coach Khalid Jamil: Khassa Camara is a vital player for us. I usually don't tell him anything. He leads the team from the front on his own and dictates stuff on the field. Federico Gallego was not 100% fit and that is why he was rested. I feel extremely happy for my players because they've worked very hard. They deserve this playoffs spot. We need to work even harder to make our first Indian Super League final. We respect all the other teams involved and will be ready to face any of them, even if it's FC Goa or Hyderabad FC. 

MATCH REPORT | ISL 2020-21: NorthEast United completes superb recovery, qualifies for playoffs with Blasters win

NEUFC forward Deshorn Brown: This is a great feeling. We are very happy to be in the playoffs. I'm becoming more consistent with my performances. Once you play more, your sharpness and concentration improves. I would have had more ISL goals, if I had got more chances at Bengaluru FC. We are just trying to build chemistry among the attackers. We (Gallego and Luis Machado) work on stuff in training. The more we play together, the better we complement each. It doesn't matter if we play ATK Mohun Bagan or Mumbai City FC next because both of them are tough teams. We need to do extremely well to get past either side.

Post match reactions from both the camps coming up next.....

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

NorthEast United FC has qualified for the 2020-21 Indian Super League playoffs with this 2-0 victory over Kerala Blasters FC tonight. The outfit will face either ATK Mohun Bagan or Mumbai City FC next in the final-four stage.

The Highlanders have defeated the Blasters, thanks mainly to first-half goals from Suhair V. P. and Lalengmawia. Kerala ends the season in tenth place, only above Odisha FC in the table, with just 17 points from 20 matches.

PODCAST - Will it be ATK Mohun Bagan or Mumbai City FC which takes the League Winner's Shield? Which among FC Goa and Hyderabad FC will take the final playoff place? In the latest episode of Sportstar's 'The Full Time Show', N. Sudarshan, Shyam Vaudevan & Aashin Prasad discuss how the top-four is shaping up.

 

AND IT IS FULL-TIME! FINAL SCORE: NORTHEAST UNITED FC 2 - 0 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!

90+3' SHOT! Khassa Camara takes a shot from long for NorthEast United FC. But the ball flies way over the post. And the NEUFC players do some time-wasting stuff to see off the rest of the game.

90' Four minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half! Khalid Jamil makes another substitution for NEUFC. He brings on Ashutosh Mehta to replce the goal-scorer Suhair VP.

87' ANOTHER KBFC CHANGE! Kerala Blasters FC forward Gary Hooper makes way for India's Givson Singh in the middle. This is probably one last throw of the dice by interim head coach Ishfaq Ahmed.

84' WHAT A CHANCE FOR NEUFC! Suhair V. P. to Federico Gallego to Deshorn Brown. This is great passing from NorthEast United FC. Brown dribbles past Albino Gomes at close range. However, his final shot hits the side netting much to the dismay of his coach Khalid Jamil in the dugout.

81' SUBSTITUTION! Ishfaq Ahmed makes another change for Kerala Blasters FC. He decides to bring on Seityasen Singh to replace Rahul K. P. in the playing XI on the field.

78' CHANCE FOR NEUFC! Suhair V. P. releases his teammate Gurjinder Kumar forward on the left flank. Gurjinder gets into the box after powering past an opposition defender. He then takes a shot on target. Albino Gomes isn't able to make a clean save but he's extremely lucky as NorhtEast players don't capitalise on it.

75' AND IT IS TIME FOR THE FINAL DRINKS BREAK OF THE MATCH!

72' CROSS! Prasanth K receives the ball on the right flank. He crosses it into the box with his left foot. Before his Kerala teammate Jordan Murray could get to it, NorthEast defender Benjamin Lambot heads the ball away from danger.

69' GOOD TACKLE! Federico Gallego uses his dribbling skills to get past his marker. He then sends a through-ball towards Deshorn Brown at the edge of the box. However, KBFC's Sandeep Singh executes a perfect sliding tackle to avert the danger for his side.

66' YELLOW CARD! NEUFC's most recent substitute Britto P. M., who replaced Imran Khan on the ground, is immediately booked by the referee for a mistimed tackle on Kerala Blasters FC forward Rahul KP.

63' SHOT! Luis Machado takes the ball forward for NorthEast United FC. He evades the tackles of two opposition players and takes a shot on target. However, Albino Gomes reacts on time to make the save.

60' ANOTHER CHANGE FOR KBFC! Lalthathanga Khawlhring comes on to replace Costa Nhamoinesu in the middle. Sandeep Singh moves to centre-back. Interim coach Ishfaq Ahmed is shouting out instructions from the dugout.

57' FREE-KICK FOR NEUFC! Lalengmawia will take this one. He sends a good ball into the box. But Kerala Blasters FC goalkeeper Albino Gomes comes off his line to collect the ball safely.

54' ANOTHER KBFC OPPORTUNITY! Sandeep Singh receives a pass on the right wing. He sends in a cross towards Jordan Murray, who flicks the ball to Rahul KP. However, Rahul's final shot sails over the bar.

51' FREE-KICK FOR KBFC! NEUFC's Imran Khan fouls Juande in midfield. The substitute player takes the set-piece immediately. He passes the ball to Gary Hooper, who in turn tries to find Jordan Murray at the far post with a cross. But the ball rolls out for a goal-kick.

48' KBFC SUBSTITUTION! Kerala Blasters FC manager Ishfaq Ahmed has decided to replace one foreigner with another. He brings on midfielder Juande for defender Bakary Kone on the field.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

PODCAST - Will it be ATK Mohun Bagan or Mumbai City FC which takes the League Winner's Shield? Which among FC Goa, NorthEast United FC and Hyderabad FC will take the final two playoff place? In the latest episode of Sportstar's 'The Full Time Show', N. Sudarshan, Shyam Vaudevan & Aashin Prasad discuss how the top-four is shaping up.

 

 

The Highlanders are set to make the ISL 2020-21 top-four. We'll know the end result in forty-five minutes. Stay tuned!

Goals from Suhair V. P. and Lalengmawia give NorthEast United FC a 2-0 lead against Kerala Blasters FC in the first-haf.

AND IT IS HALF-TIME! SCORE: NORTHEAST UNITED FC 2 - 0 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!

45+1' GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! LALENGMAWIA SCORREEEEESSSS!!! NORTHEAST UNITED FC 2 - 0 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!!!!!!!!! Luis Machado's cross from the right flank is too heavy but Dylan Fox keeps the ball alive. He plays a pass to Lalengmawia in midfield. The NEUFC midfielder gets past his marker and unleashes a shot which finds the back of the net at the near post.

44' Three minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! Jeakson Singh fouls Khassa Camara in midfield and the referee awards NorthEast a free-kick. But there's no card shown.

42' NEUFC CHANCE! Imran Khan plays a cross-field ball to Luis Machado, who sets up Suhair in front of him just outside the box. But just before Suhair can take a shot, Vicente Gomez completes the block.

39' CHANCE FOR KBFC!  Jessel Carneiro sprints forward on the right flank. He sends the ball towards Gary Hooper, who immediately flicks it to Prasanth K. However, Prasanth's cross into the box isn't a good one.

36' SHOT! NorthEast United FC has another chance here. Deshorn Brown receives a good through-pass from midfield. He cuts past a Kerala Blasters FC defender and takes a shot. But Albino Gomes makes a comfortable save.

33' GOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!!! SUHAIR VP SCOREEESSSSS!!! NORTHEAST UNITED FC 1 - 0 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!!!! Khassa Camara has the ball. He passes it forward and KBFC centre-back Bakary Kone misses his clearance. Suhair gets on the ball around the edge of the box. He beats Sandeep Singh, who messes up a straightforward steal, and dribbles past Albino Gomes. He finally slots the ball home.

30' AND IT IS TIME FOR THE FIRST HALF COOLING BREAK!

27' SET-PIECE FOR NEUFC! Luis Machado will take this one. His curler looks threatening. But Kerala defender Sandeep Singh heads the ball out of play. NorthEast takes a throw-in, however, the Blasters regain possession.

24' FREE-KICK FOR KBFC! Khassa Camara handles the ball in an attempt to block Bakary Kone's shot. Gary Hooper takes the resultant set-piece. But NEUFC is able to clear the ball away with ease.

21' NorthEast United FC has dominated the possession, passing and attacking stats so far. But Kerala Blasters FC is not far behind. Both the head coaches look animated on the sidelines.

18' SUBSTITUTION! NorthEast United FC manager Khalid Jamil is forced to make a change here. The injured Provat Lakra is taken out and he is replaced by Gurjinder Kumar, a like-for-like replacement.

15' INTERCEPTION! Imran Khan with another move forward. He tries to play a long pass to Luis Machado in front of him. But Kerala defender Costa Nhamoinesu thwarts the NorthEast attack right on time.

12' CHANCE FOR NEUFC! Khassa Camara plays a pass wide to Imran Khan on the left wing. Imran rushes forward with the ball and attempts to send a cross towards Deshorn Brown inside the box. But he applies too much power on the ball as it goes out for a KBFC goal-kick.

9' INJURY! Suhair V. P. (NEUFC) and Jessel Carneiro (KBFC) fight for the high ball. In the process, Suhair fouls Jessel and the latter goes to the ground. However, he is fine to continue and the referee awards Kerala a free-kick.

6' WHAT A MISS AT THE OTHER END! KBFC could have taken the lead now. Vicente Gomez takes a corner and his cross falls straight to Bakary Kone. The centre-back has so much space around him as the NorthEast players in the box go to sleep. However, Kone heads the ball over the crossbar.

3' WHAT A CHANCE FOR NEUFC! Luis Machado with a quick move forward for NorthEast United on the right flank. His cross at the far post is met by Dylan Fox, who fires his shot wide off target. The defender should have at least hit the target here. Kerala Blaster FC gets away with it.

7:30 PM: AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

7:10 PM: Eleven categories, 11 awards, 36 nominees and one big celebration! The 'Sportstar Aces Awards' are back in 2021 and this time, we are honouring the Giants of the Decade. Vote for your favourite athletes today through the link provided below.

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6:50 PM: The competition is into the business end where an exciting race for the top spot and last two playoff berths are underway. We explain all the possible scenarios here - ISL 2020-21: NorthEast United qualifies for playoffs; What Goa, Hyderabad need to do to make it - Explained

6:30 PM: The team lineups are out!

NEUFC XI: Subhasish Roy, Provat Lakra, Dylan Fox, Benjamin Lambot, Nim Dorjee, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia, Imran Khan, Suhair Vadakkepeedika, Luis Machado, Deshorn Brown.

COACH: Khalid Jamil.

KBFC XI: Albino Gomes, Sandeep Singh, Bakary Kone, Costa Nhamoinesu, Jessel Carneiro, Jeakson Singh, Vicente Gomez, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Rahul KP, Jordan Murray, Gary Hooper.

COACH: Ishfaq Ahmed.

6:10 PM: PODCAST - In the latest episode of Sportstar's 'The Full Time Show', Odisha FC's Rohan Sharma and Raj Athwal take us through their former head coach Stuart Baxter's comments, their decision to let him go and the larger problem of trivialising sexual violence in the sporting world.

Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of ISL 2020-21.

ISL 2020: Points Table

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

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.

MATCH PREVIEW:

NorthEast United FC will look to continue its winning run and seal a place in the top-four when it clashes with Kerala Blasters in a Indian Super League match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here on Friday.

Ever since Khalid Jamil took charge, the Highlanders have grown in confidence and have produced stunning results from some difficult games.

Unbeaten in its last eight games, NorthEast United, under Jamil, has taken 18 points. Only ATK Mohun Bagan (20) has more points. Even a draw on Friday will be enough for the Guwahati-based side to cement its position in the top four and ensure its second-ever appearance in the knockout phase.

RELATED | ISL 2020-21, NorthEast United vs Kerala Blasters: Predicted playing XI, team news and formation

Kerala has been on a barren run and lie second from last, but Jamil urged his side not to take their opponents lightly.

"They (Kerala Blasters) are a good team. They have talented players and so we will have to prepare. It will be a difficult game. We shouldn't take this match lightly. We must fight," he said.

NEUFC might need just a point but Jamil was in no mood to settle for a draw.

"We are not thinking about anything else. The preparations are the same. There are no changes in anything. The idea is to go there and give your best and have to be ready in all aspects," he said.

Jamil has enjoyed success earlier. However, a win or a draw against Kerala will not only stretch his unbeaten run to nine games, but will also make him the first Indian manager to have managed more than three league sides and qualified for the playoffs.

WATCH |

Jamil rated his NEUFC assignment as the toughest to date. "It's a big challenge here in ISL. Here we are dealing with good teams in the Hero ISL. There are quality players and coaches. So this is a different challenge," he said.

Kerala is without a win in its last seven league games. With nothing but just pride to play for, interim coach Ishfaq Ahmed will be looking to end the season on a high.

"The matches are very similar to everyone. For us, we definitely want to win. They want to win. They have a little bit of extra pressure. For us, it's another opportunity to sign off from the league on a high," said Ahmed.

"We are not thinking about what they (NEUFC) want. We are thinking about us and what we have to do." However, Kerala have failed to record a single win against their opponents in the last five meetings. NEUFC won once and the remaining matches ended in draws.

ISL 2020-21 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.