ISL 2019 | Kerala Blasters controlled the game, says coach Nelo Vingada

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ISL 2019 | Kerala Blasters controlled the game, says coach Nelo Vingada

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SportsCafe Desk

03/02/2019

Kerala Blasters coach Nelo Vingada is of the opinion that his side controlled the entire game in their goalless stalemate against NorthEast United at home on Friday. On the other hand, NorthEast United assistant coach Shaun Ontong said that the Higlanders put up an outstanding show in Kochi.

Kerala Blasters held NorthEast United FC to a 0-0 draw at home yesterday as the Sandesh Jhingan-led side ended their fifth season campaign with yet another draw at home. The Kochi-based football club ended its campaign in ninth position on the points table with 15 points ahead of the defending champions Chennaiyin FC. However, the Men in Yellow managed to put up a good show against the Highlanders yesterday as they dominated most of the game with 53% ball possession.

"Our team tried to play. Our team controlled the game. We created some good chances. They had only one situation at the beginning of the second-half. It was difficult. Also, it was not easy to attack as they were defending deep," coach Vingada at the post-match press conference as reported by the official website of ISL. 

"The positive thing is we never kicked the ball long. We tried to play right, left or shoot. Our final ball was not according to the level required. We have to learn what was not so good. I believe that now we're different and are more positive. The next season will be better for Kerala and the team will be on another level to bring a lot of happiness for the fans, for the city, for the club.”

However, despite being one-man up against the Highlanders in the first half itself, the hosts were not allowed to score a goal by the Highlanders. 

"When we were playing against 11, they tried to come forward which created some space for us to counter attack. But when they went down to 10, the chance to counter-attack disappeared because they were playing in the last 20 metres near their box. But credits to NorthEast. It's not easy to play with 10 men and hold us to a 0-0 draw," the KBFC coach explained. 

Having already qualified for the playoffs, the Highlanders would have wanted to avoid meeting table-toppers Bengaluru FC in the semi-final with a win yesterday but things went against them as Gurwinder Singh was shown a red card in the 23rd minute giving a major jolt for the Guwahati-based franchise. With a draw against Kerala, the NEUFC have finished their campaign with 29 points at no. 4 on the points table. 

"At the moment, with Gurwinder Singh getting suspended, that’s going to be something we have to assess and look into. Other than that, this game wouldn’t really affect the outcome. The new centre back (Rivas) who has come in, has done a really good job," explained Shaun Ontong.

“We started the game in a different formation. Some young players were given an opportunity. Unfortunately, we had to make a change straightaway because of the red card. We are so proud of the performance today, especially defensively. I thought we were outstanding. The effort was what got us the point today."

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