The latest match of the Indian Super League featured the two powerhouses of the season Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters. Both the sides went on to the match with an unbeaten record since their second match. From the start, the Nizams dominated the possession and exploited the Blasters defense often.
However, it was the Hyderabad defense that was undone at the 41st minute thanks to a cracker of a shot from Vazquez. The second half was mostly Hyderabad's relentless attack but the Kerala defense was up for the task and handled the pressure well. The match ended with a 1-0 scoreline.
Here are the talking points of the match.
A Physical display
Both the team had taken a very no nonsense approach from the start as the first two yellow cards of the match were doled out before the 10 minute mark. Fifteen fouls were called by the officials before the first half whistle. As the intensity of the match went up on the second half the attacks became rougher but both the teams were able to wiggle out of the match without any serious injuries. The match ended with a whopping seven yellow cards and over forty fouls. It was a busy day for the officials to say the least.
Unbeaten Run of Hyderabad broken
Hyderabad's eight match unbeaten run was broken by the Vukomanovic led Kerala Blasters. Alongside their unbeaten run, they also lost out on the top spot of the table. Hyderabad started the match with a lot of intent on the attack. However they could not find the goal even though the likes of Edu Garcia and Obgeche did come close.
The urgency had set in on the Hyderabad side by the second half but their tremendous pressure was soaked up well by the likes of Leskovic and the youngster Hormipam. The Tuskers will be happy with this win as they extended their unbeaten run to nine matches.
Blasters at the top of the table
After a shaky start, Vukomanovic's team have perfectly turned their fortune around in this season ISL as they for the first time this season get to be on the top of the table with 17 points. Even though the likes of Mumbai, Jamshedpur and even Hyderabad are breathing down their neck, the Keralan side will be happy with how their current season is unfolding. Especially the recent disappointment that they have faced in their ISL campaigns.
More trouble for Hyderabad
Manolo Marquez has a lot to unpack from the match. They lost the three points alongside their first position on the table and on top of that, lost their main man up front Obgeche for their next encounter against Chennaiyin FC. Barth was shown a yellow card for a tackle on Gill which could have been easily avoided. The top scorer of ISL this season has not been on his best form against the Blasters.
The Nigerian will have to wait at least a week for his 10th of the season. He will be eligible to feature on their crucial match against Jamshedpur FC.
Luna shines again
Even though he didn't feature on the scoresheet, Luna was once again the man who made things happen up front for the Manjappada. He often switched flanks with Sahal and took control of the wings which made it hard for the Hyderabad defenders to mark him. His crosses had found Sahal and Pereyra through out the first half though they were unable to find the back of the net.
In the second half, their occasional counter attacks were also orchestrated by Uruguayan. He continues to be the heart of the attack for the Blasters.