HomeFootballKerala vs Chennai, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Kerala vs Chennai, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Chennai will conclude its Indian Football League 2020-21 campaign with a final league-stage match with Kerala. Both sides have been eliminated from the playoffs. 

Match Timings: Feb 21, 7:30 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Two-times winner in Indian Football League, Chennai, will end their disappointing campaign on Sunday night. Chennai started the campaign with a clinical victory over Jamshedpur, but the downfall at midway hurt its target of the third title. Marina Machans have just 19 points from 19 points with only three wins. They played one more draw when they faced Northeast on Thursday. Chennai made a solid start when Lallianzuala Chhangte scored in the eighth minute. Highlanders didn’t wait much and equalized six minutes later when Imran Khan scored from a low header. Just before the first-half break, Deshorn Brown provided a lead with a strike in the 43rd minute. The second half started with a bang for Marina Machans. They scored two goals in two minutes to take a 3-2 lead. First, Manuel Lanzarote scored through a penalty, and then, Lallianzuala Chhangte completed his brace. Chhangte got a pass from Edwin Vanspaul and took a shot. Subhasish had no answer to this deflection, and Chennai regained their lead. The match was in full control of Chennai, but Northeast scored the equaliser in injury-time when Luis Machado scored from the penalty spot. 

The campaign is over for Chennai, but they can learn from their mistakes. Marina Machans have played 10 draws this season, most by any team in 2020-21. They have scored 16 goals this season, the lowest by any team. Chennai will play AFC Cup after the domestic season, and they have to fix its defense issues. Sabia and Sipovic’s combination as center-backs couldn’t deliver much this time. Runner-ups of the last edition would aim for a winning end to this season. 

Meanwhile, Kerala sacked its head coach Kibu Vicuna after the 4-0 defeat to Hyderabad. The Kochi-based side have also been eliminated from the tournament. They started very well in the first half when they got a penalty appeal in the 5th minute when Chinglensana clashed with Bakary Kone, but the referee denied it. Albino Gomes made a big mistake, but Costa Nhamoinesu rescued Kerala. Hooper got a good chance for Kerala, but Laxmikant Kattimani produced a fine save. Prasanth Karuthadathkuni’s one good shot also fall straight at Kattimani. The first half ended without any goal, but Hyderabad came on top in the second half. Francisco Sandaza scored a brace in just 5 minutes to give a 2-0 lead to Nizams at the 63rd minute. Aridane Santana delivered a bullet header from Lluis Sastre’s free-kick to give Hyderabad a 3-0 lead. Joao Victor produced the fourth goal of the day with an injury-time strike. 

Kerala have conceded 33 goals, surpassing their own previous record of conceding 32 goals in 18 matches. Kerala released some key players before the season, such as Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri, and Bartholomew Ogbeche. Kerala will find its new head coach before the next season. Kerala are sitting at the second spot from the bottom, and they would look to windup this season with a couple of wins from the last two matches. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 


Albino Gomes; Sandeep Singh, Bakary Kone, Costa Nhamoinesu, Yondrembem Denechandra, Rohit Kumar, Vicente Gomez, Seityasen Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray

Current Form: L D L L D 

Previous Match: 4-0 defeat to Hyderabad 


Vishal Kaith; Jerry Lalrinzuala, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote, Memo Moura, Rahim Ali, Jakub Sylvestr

Current Form: D D L D L

Previous Match: 3-3 draw with Northeast 

Key Players 


Jordan Murray 

7 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Gary Hooper 

4 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 


Lallianzuala Chhangte

4 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Jakub Sylvestr

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21


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