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Hero ISL 2019-20 : Northeast United FC face Kerala Blasters in their 100th league appearance

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‘History repeats itself’ as they say. Northeast United FC played their first Hero ISL game against Kerala Blasters and today they will play their 100th Hero ISL game against the same opponent.

NorthEast United player Benjamin Lambot
credits – NEUTDFC twitter

Game week 2’s second match will see Kibu Vicuna’s men in Yellow go up against Gerard Nus’s Northeast United FC.

Blast from the past :

The sixth edition of the Hero ISL was a one to forget for both the sides. The last time these two teams met in February 2020 the match ended on level terms in Guwahati with both the sides keeping a clean sheet.

Kerala Blasters :

The Hero ISL opener witnessed ATK MohunBagan securing all the 3 points courtesy of a second half strike by ATK MohunBagan’s talisman Roy Krishna against Kerala Blasters despite a disciplined display in their first match. The side from Kochi dominated possesion and were better than their opposition on almost every aspect. But, the result was favourable to Antonio Lopez Habas’s ATK MohunBagan.

credits- Kerala Blasters twitter

Kibu Vicuna and company will come out all guns blazing against the Highlanders to secure their first win of the season. Kerala Blasters will try and improve the mistakes from the last game and will surely be eyeing the first three points.

“They [NorthEast] played well against Mumbai. They are an organised team. They also had chances and tried to play out from the goalkeeper and tried to perform fast counter-attacks. We controlled the game against ATK Mohun Bagan but they scored. We have to improve in the final third.” said Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna.

Northeast United FC :

The Highlanders proved to be the dark horses in their first match against Mumbai City FC. Sergio Lobera’s men had the lion’s share of the ball and looked ‘too good’ in the first 40 minutes. After the sending off of Ahmed Jahouh, things changed and favoured Northeast United FC. The side from Guwahati secured their first victory of the season in their 99th Hero ISL appearance.

The Backline including the Hero of the match Khassa Camara were outstanding as for the first time in the history of the ISL a team denied Sergio Lobera’s side a shot on target. A victory in the first outing was surely a confidence boaster for the team and Gerard Nus and company will try to secure another 3 points in their 100th Hero ISL appearance.

“We did good things in our previous match and we have to stick to doing good things but we need to do more alot of things. We got the result in our first match because we were really committed to do our jobs and that is definitely that I want to see. And as I said on day 1 that we are a team that competes, a team that fights, a team that really cares about every single game and take evey game seriously. There are gonna punish us if we give up even for a second. So, we are gonna be on our toes and we gonna do a serious game. ” Said Gerard Nus during the Pre Match Press Conference.

Battles to watch out for :

Khassa Camara vs Garry Hooper

The Mauritanian Machine displayed and absolute masterclass against the Islanders and helped Northeast United FC clinch their first victory of the season.

On the other hand, Kerala Blasters FC’s English target man has a reputation coming into the league but couldn’t make it upto the expectations in the first game but will surely be a threat to the Northeast United FC defense. It will be interesting to see both of them go against each other tonight.

Sahal Abdul Samad vs Lalengmawia

Nicknamed as the ‘Indian Ozil’ he Keralite baller is a fan favourite in Kochi and there’s a reason to it. Kerala Blasters FC’s no. 18 possess some great dribbling skills and he will hope to contribute more to the team against the Highlanders.

The best thing that happened to the Highlanders last season was the debut of Lalengmawia. He’s calm and so much composed over the ball and has earned himself praises from the pundits of Indian Football. The 19 year old will surely play a crucial part for Northeast United FC in the season ahead. It will a treat to watch two young Indian guns facing each other in a tough contest tonight.

Probable Starting XI :

Kerala Blasters : Albino, Costa, Kone, Nishu, Jessel, Gomez, Sahal Abdul Samad, Cidoncha, Naorem, Ritwik, Hooper.

Northeast United FC : Subhasish, Gurjinder, Fox, Lambot, Ashutosh, Camara, Lalengmawia, Fanai, Federico Gallego, Ninthoi, Kwesi.

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