‘Improvement is not enough’: East Bengal is only to blame in the Kerala Blasters draw

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The Reds and Golds came very close to getting their first victory in the Indian Super League …

So close yet so far. East Bengal was just a minute away from registering their first Indian Super League (ISL) victory, but Jeakson Singh’s latest header ruined the party.

It was a greatly improved performance by East Bengal against Kerala Blasters on Sunday. Captain Danny Fox returned from injury after three games and provided much-needed strength at the baseline.

Coach Robbie Fowler modified his tactics a bit from his last game when he returned to the 3-4-2-1 formation. He deployed Anthony Pilkington as a lone forward with Jacques Maghoma and Mohammed Rafique operating right behind him. Pilkington lent much needed sharpness to East Bengal’s attack and his liaison play inside the area was impressive. Also, the decision to use Rafique’s mobility in the attacking third helped even more.

Anthony Pilkington, Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal

Kibu Vicuña returned to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation after experimenting with two forwards in his last game against Bengaluru which failed miserably. Jordan Murray was relegated to the bench when Gary Hooper started as the sole forward. The Blasters played their usual game based on possession, but failed to make a mark in the final third.

Despite Kerala Blasters dominating possession as expected, it was East Bengal who created the most opportunities to score goals in the first half. The Kerala Blasters defenders were fighting to hold off the East Bengal attacking trio alongside Matti Steinmann, who was showing up in the area.

The Reds and Golds, impressive in the first half, sat down in the second half, probably showing too much respect for Kerala Blasters, who had made three changes at halftime, bringing in Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad and Jordan Murray for Rohit Kumar. , Seityasen Singh and Gary Hooper.

While the Blasters’ attack improved slightly, it was also thanks to East Bengal, who was desperate for a result and decided to sit back and preserve their lead.

However, the Reds and Golds had their moments at halftime in the second half and should have taken advantage of them. In several counterattacks, the Kolkata club looked dangerous, but failed to convert in the last third. The attackers seemed a bit complacent and casual at times.

The waste was finally punished in stoppage time when Jeakson managed to head a cross from Sahal. However, East Bengal is only to blame for falling behind too much and not wasting its own opportunities.

Jacques Maghoma, Kerala Blasters vs East Bengal

The coach himself acknowledged after the game that the number of chances they had to score should have gone with the game. “We are disappointed. It’s a game that we should have won. We had a good enough chance of winning more than one game. We need to be a little more clinical in the last third, ”said the great Liverpool.

Kibu Vicuna, on the other hand, has to evaluate his tactics a bit and consider changing his approach. Passing out from behind and maintaining possession is not paying dividends as they have yet to record a win after six games, something they had not experienced in their short history until this season.

Except for the ball possession statistics, you could say that it was a fair result for both sides to get a point from this tie. Both teams still have a lot of work to do in training camp and must find a way to end their respective careers without a win soon.


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