Kerala Blasters FC and Mumbai City FC played a 0-0 draw in their Indian Super League (ISL) face-off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Saturday.
From the start, Kerala played with a 5-3-2 formation and even though their defence became strong by this but they lacked that flair in attack that had given them the 3-1 win over NorthEast United FC. Mumbai, on the other hand, dropped the first match’s goal-scorer Frederic Piquionne and Ashutosh Mehta, who assisted the French during the goal.
Mumbai started positively from the beginning, with Haitian Sonny Norde and Subhash Singh in full steam as Kerala hardly seemed attacking with serious move and intent.
Norde created problems from the left and he combined well with Subhash and Gabriel Fernandes on the right flank. In the early minutes, Norde controlled the ball with his chest and cut the ball into the middle of the box where defender and captain Peter Ramage blocked it.
Gabriel also got a shot at the post early but it sailed over, much to the frustration of the Indian.
Ten minutes later, Subhash cut into the middle and fed Norde with a good through ball. The attacker looked to fire his shot in but just as he was about to pull the trigger, Gurwinder Singh slid in to make the tackle.
Both the side’s midfielders seemed to be toiling hard but their connection with their attackers was missing.
At the stroke of half-time, Norde impressed again, charged into the box to set it up for Gabriel but only to see it blocked by centre back Ramage.
The same story continued more or less in the second half as well, with Kerala just showing their intent a bit seriously. Mumbai, meanwhile, continued to make good moves but that didn’t bear fruit.
Kerala goalkeeper Stephen Bywater also had a good day in the office, thwarting all the meaningful attempts.
Mumbai coach Nicolas Anelka brought in Piquionne in place of Darren O’Dea. Piquionne was brought down in the 90th minute by Gurwinder as the Mumbai players appealed for a penalty that was denied by the referee.
However, both the teams failed to get a goal and the match ended goalless.
With this result, Kerala are now third with four points, while Mumbai are now sixth with one point.
Kerala play their next match against title holders and hosts Atlético de Kolkata on Tuesday, while Mumbai will entertain Chennaiyin FC on Friday.