The qoute “Football is unpredictable” makes so much sense after the matchday 7 of Hero ISL 2020-21. Northeast United’s 100th Hero ISL game saw a dominant Northeast United FC manage a point from a striding Kerala Blasters FC.
The Highlanders kicked off the game in the first half but Kerala looked appealing. Northeast United showed alot of respect to their opponent in the first half and were punished. Kerala Blasters were awarded a set piece following a foul from Gurjinder on Seityasen Singh just outside the penalty box.
The former Northeast United FC winger delivered a looping ball inside the box and Kerala Blasters FC’s skipper Sergio Cidoncha netted in a clinical header around the 6th minute mark. In the 23rd minute Garry Hooper smartly intercepted a slow back pass from Khassa Camara and started a move, he passed the ball to Cido and made a run inside the box. Sergio Cidoncha did deliver a great ball inside the box but the English Man failed to convert the golden chance and hit it over the crossbar.
6 minutes later it was Ashutosh Mehta on the right flank who took a shot from a pretty decent angle but it went wide. A few minutes later Khassa Camara beautifully intercepted a poor pass from Costa near the penalty box and almost scored the equaliser but Sergio Cidoncha came at rescue for the blasters.
Just before half-time Kerala Blasters won a corner and there was huddle inside the box and Dylan Fox stood tall against Kerala as he cleared two back to back headers on target but things took a different turn and Kerala Blasters were awarded a controversial penalty. Garry Hooper made no mistake in putting the ball past Subhasish Roy Chowdhury and added his first goal to his tally in the ISL.
The Highlanders looked raring to go in the second half and did start really well. Northeast United FC were rewarded for all the hard shift they have put it as Kwesi Appiah scored his second goal of the season that bought a different level of energy within the team.
Northeast kept knocking at the door and in the 66th minute Lalengmawia was brought down inside the box by Jessel Carneiro and the referee pointed to the spot. Kwesi looked calm but unlucky missed the spot kick and hit at the Crossbar and the side from Kochi dominated the scoreline.
Both the teams made a couple a changes with Luis Machado and Idrissa Sylla replacing Federico Gallego and Kwesi Appiah respectively for Northeast United FC. For Kerala Blasters Jordan Murray and Prasanth came in for Sergio Cidoncha and Puitea.
A long ball into the box found Idrissa Sylla but the former Queens Park Rangers striker headed wide in the 83rd minute. Northeast United FC looked determined and kept pushing bodies forward but lacked the cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.
We all thought Kerala Blasters are going home with all three points but this match had alot left in it. Gurjinder Kumar delivered a great long ball in the box and found Sylla. The Guinean target man received the ball through his chest and displayed some absolute masterclass of his finishing. Northeast United FC’s Number 11 bought things on level terms and handed his team a point in the dying minutes of the match.
Hero of the Match : Dylan Fox
The Aussie centre back was outstanding throughout the match and deservingly bagged the Hero of the match award. He finished the match with a passing accuracy of 88% and stood tall at the right time and at the right place.