Mumbai City FC hold Kerala Blasters goalless
Mumbai, 12 November 2014: Mumbai City FC came up with yet another solid display to hold Kerala Blasters FC to a 0-0 goalless draw in the inaugural Hero Indian Super League game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
Plagued by injuries to its key players – Andre Moritz, Syed Rahim Nabi and marquee Freddie Ljungberg – Mumbai City FC went into the match with a chance to go on top of the league table for the first time in the tournament but needed to summon all their defensive resolves to keep the hosts at bay in a fast-paced encounter.
The hero of the match for Mumbai was undoubtedly goalkeeper Subrata Pal, who stood tall in moments of pressure to maintain his fourth clean sheet in a row, his fifth in the tournament.
Kerala Blasters were definitely first to find their rhythm and it was the acrobatic Subrata Pal who kept them at bay in the seventh minute itself when he parried a Milagres Gonsalves header from six yards off a Sabeeth cross.
Subrata was pressed into action a couple of times more as Kerala Blasters use long balls inside the box in search of an opener but the custodian and Mumbai City FC defence always stood tall. The custodian’s out stretched hands kept Mumbai City FC alive again in the 65th minute when he left his line on time to parry a cross from Sabeeth with Milagres lurking in the six yard box.
Going forward, Mumbai City FC were hampered with the absence of their key playmaker Andre Moritz, who had limped out before half-time in their last game against FC Goa. In his absence, Frenchman Nicolas Anelka played in a bit more withdrawn position and the visitors could have had the last laugh but for the woodwork that denied them a goal in the 77th minute when Tiago Ribeiro’s first time shot off Anelka’s cross came off the right hand post.
The draw means that Mumbai City FC remains in fourth position with 11 points from eight encounters while Kerala Blasters are sixth with nine points.
Manager Peter Reid admitted that it was a tough match and they missed Moritz, skipper Nabi and marquee signing Freddie Ljungberg. “It was good game and both teams wanted to win. We started slowly but then we made some good moves. But we need to concentrate on attack more now.”
Goalkeeper Subrata Pal was satisfied with the team’s performance and said the defence was looking rock solid now. “We now have four consecutive clean slates and five overall and that is very good for us going forward.”
Kerala Blasters FC 0 drew with Mumbai City FC 0
Hero of the Match: C.S. Sabeeth
Swift moment of the match: C.S. Sabeeth
Fittest player of the match: Tiago Ribeiro
Emerging player of the match: Lalrindika Ralte