Back of the previous defeat, Mohun B. will take on arch-rivals Kerala in the Sunday night encounter of Indian Football League 2020-21.
Match Timings: Jan 31, 7:30 PM IST
Mariners will fight out against Kerala in the Sunday clash to get back to the winning track. The defeat to Northeast was their second defeat of this month. In the last four matches, Kolkata giants dropped eight points, and now, they can lose its second spot to Goa and Hyderabad. The pursuit of AFC Champions League qualification looks pretty dull from here with the success of Mumbai. Sergio Lobero’s side is too ahead of the Mariners in the table, and Habas would eye the playoff position only. One controversial referral cost them a match in the last outing as Highlanders had the final laugh with 2-1. Both sides canceled out each other in the opening half, and the Mariners looked slightly perfect in the second half. Northeast shifted the momentum with an early strike. Center-back Tiri sent the ball to Gallego, and the pass went to Machado. The Portuguese winger sent the ball into the net, but it looks like he pushed Tiri in an illegal manner.
Roy Krishna finally delivered some simile in the camp with the 72nd-minute strike. Komal Thatal found Carl McHugh outside the box, and Fijian tapped the ball past Subhasish Roy Chowdhury. Kolkata giants started dominating the game after the equaliser. Krishna almost got a double, but Manvir Singh’s cross went slightly over hit. The match was heading towards a draw. Highlanders retook the lead as Gallego curled the ball past Arindam. Highlanders even got the big chance in stoppage time, but Rochharzela couldn’t connect the header. Habas has complained about the first goal from the Northeast, but his side has to move on from this defeat. Mariners would try to enter in the final month of the season with a winning attitude.
Meanwhile, Kerala had a roller-coaster ride this season. They have been an improved side in January, where they have earned two victories against Jamshedpur and Bengaluru. The yellow outfit is unbeaten in the last five matches. In the last clash of the season, they played a goalless draw against the Red Miners. Both sides had few chances in both halves. In the 7th minute, Albino Gomes made the mistake of offering a chance to Nerijus Valskis, but the Jamshedpur captain couldn’t grab this opportunity. Jordan Murray came close to strike before TP Rehenesh’s save.
In the 35th minute, Hopper could have found his name on the scoresheet, but the referee raised his flag for off-side. Englishman also struck the crossbar when he got a decent cross from Sandeep Singh. The second half was also dominated by Kerala. Kerala almost got the winner in the last minutes, but Narender Gahlot blocked Seityasen Singh’s shot. Kerala now have 15 points from 14 matches with three wins and six draws. They have to extend its unbeaten streak to crack the playoffs this edition. After Mariners, they will play next to Mumbai, so Vicuna has to showcase top skills on the ground to earn points.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Arindam Bhattacharya; Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri, Sumit Rathi, Prabir Das, Pronbay Halder, Carl McHugh, Javi Hernandez, David Williams, Roy Krishna
Current Form: L W D L W
Previous Match: 2-1 defeat to Northeast
Albino Gomes; Sandeep Singh, Bakary Kone, Jessel Carneiro, Costa Nhamoinesu, Rohit Kumar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Jordan Murray, Gary Hooper
Current Form: D D W D W
Previous Match: goalless draw with Jamshedpur
7 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
6 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21