In a contest marred by injuries, hosts Kerala Blasters played out a goalless draw against Odisha FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday.
It all started with the Kerala captain Rodriguez, who suffered a hamstring injury and went off limping in the fourth minute of the game. Despite this blow, the hosts continued to press but failed to pass through Odisha’s well organized back line.
The game once again came to a halt in the 24th minute when Aridane and Messi Bouli collided against each other while going for the ball from the corner. This saw both Messi and Aridane being taken off the field and replaced by Mohammed Rafi and Carlos Delgado respectively.
The game for most periods did not entertain very much as the play was halted quite regularly, with no continuous attacks. Finally, the first clear cut chance of the half fell to Rahul in the 44th minute. But his attempt failed to hit the target.
The second half saw a similar story as both the teams failed to create clear cut chances. Odisha came close after Jerry cross was spilled by the goalkeeper. The rebound however was sent into the side netting by Nandhakumar Sekar.
Chances were limited, but both the sides kept making a mockery of them at decisive moments. Prasanth entertained the crowd with a superb cut from the right wing only to send the ball into the stands.
The final four minutes saw Prasanth once again being called into action. His inviting cross from the left flank was flicked to Rahul, but his shot was eventually kept out by Dorronsoro. Odisha also saw a chance go begging in the final moments of the game as the sides decided to share the spoils.