Player Ratings: FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters

Sunday, 10 December 2017|Vineeth Krishnan
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 FC Goa’s famed attack lived up to expectations, smashing five goals past the helpless Kerala Blasters for their third win in four games, while the visitors were dealt their first loss after three straight draws at home.

Manager Ratings:

Sergio Lobera: 8

Stuck to his mantra of providing entertaining displays for their supporters. Was extremely happy with the second goal which came off a high press as Kerala tried to play out from the back, something he had noted and drilled into his frontline to expect.

Rene Meulensteen: 4

Did not get much right and was not helped by Dimitar Berbatov’s early injury. The team had a worrying lack of control in midfield, something he was unable to address over the game.

Player Ratings:

FC Goa:

GK: Laxmikant Kattimani: 4

One of the only poor performers in the side, somehow let Sifneos’ tame strike wiggle under him for the opening goal. Looked jittery throughout with the home crowd holding their collective breath every time he got a backpass. India’s Claudio Bravo anyone?

LB: Narayan Das: 6

Surging runs from deep and accurate crosses made him a menace in attack. Gave the ball away for the Blasters’ second goal and struggled against his international teammate Jackichand Singh in defence.

CB: Bruno Pinhero: 7

Started many of Goa’s moves from the back and ensured Sifneos did not get too many opportunities to use his pace and run at the defence.

CB: Mohamed Ali: 5

A little suspect with his positioning for both goals. Improved in the second half.

RB: Benny Fernandes: 5

Like Das on the other flank was good going forward. Defensive reading of the game needs to improve.

CM: Ahmed Jahouh: 9

The Moroccan, along with his midfield partner Eduardo Bedia, bossed midfield, aided by the early withdrawal of Berbatov. Has all the requisites for being a top player in his position, using his strength well. Played a defense splitting pass for Coro’s first goal to make the score 3-2.

CM: Eduardo Bedia: 8

The Spaniard means the 4-2-3-1 formation click with his all-action box to box running. Another one to record an assist and perhaps could have had one of two more.

LW: Brandon Fernandes: 7

Impressive showing from the local lad who interchanged positions with the other forwards at will. Nearly got on the scoresheet with a rasping drive as the first half came to a close.

CAM: Manuel Lanzarote: 9

Cool, calm and oozing class, the Spanish No.12 scored two and set up one goal. His finish for the second goal would’ve made any striker proud.

RW: Mandar Rao: 8

Another sensational performer, Mandar hit the crossbar and went close on a couple of other occasions. Wily winger, who handed the usually indomitable Lalruatthara a night to forget.

ST: Coro: 10

What needs to be said about a striker with two back to back hat-tricks! His three goals in little under nine minutes straight after the break destroyed the Blasters’ morale. The dinked finish for his second was the standout moment of the game.

Substitutes:

Pronoy Halder: 6

Replaced Das in the 69th minute with his side rampant and put in a good shift.

Manuel Rodriguez: NA 

Came on too late to make an impression, replacing fellow Spaniard Lanzarote in the 77th.


Kerala Blasters:

GK: Paul Rachubka: 4

November’s player of the month had a totally forgettable night. Looked shaky right from the word go and his pass to Izumi that let in Lanzarote for Goa’s second had been coming with a similar error barely minutes earlier.

LB: Lalruatthara: 4

Picked up a yellow in the second half and can count himself lucky to have stayed on the pitch, with the referee telling him on a couple of occasions to calm down. Hassled by Mandar throughout, the usually solid youngster seemed to lose his calm.

CB: Sandesh Jhingan: 4

This had been coming for the captain. Gets dragged out wide far too often, an issue which contributed to three of Goa’s goals.

CB: Lakic Pesic: 4

The Serb’s worrying drop in form after two solid outings early in the season, continues. Failed to cut out a pass to Lanzarote which ended up with the fifth goal. Too much space between him, Jhingan and Izumi led to the defence being split open for Coro’s first two strikes.

RB: Rino Anto: 5

Struggled to deal with the combined efforts of Brandon and Das. Passed the ball quickly in to the forwards.

DM: Arata Izumi: 4

Not his natural position and without the support of Berbatov besides him, was totally clueless against the power of Jahouh and Bedia.

CM: Dimitar Berbatov: NA

Went off with a calf strain in the 5th minute. Replaced by Milan Singh.

LM: Loken Meitei: 6

Making his season debut, did a decent job. Couldn’t showcase much going forward but helped out well in defence.

CM: Courage Pekuson: 6

Had a few good strikes on goal and pressed high up the pitch. Last ball still needs improvement.

RM: Jackichand Singh: 7

One of the few bright spots in the Blasters’ lineup. Took his goal well to banish memories of a wasteful effort from a similar position against Mumbai. Got an assist as well. Set piece delivery can be better.

ST: Markos Sifneos: 7

Got a second goal in as many starts showing a good first touch even if his effort should’ve been saved. Had a couple more very presentable chances but couldn’t hit the target.

Substitutes:

Milan Singh: 5

Had almost all the game to show what he can do. Unfortunately, that wasn’t much. A positional swap with Izumi could get the best out of both.

Karan Sawhney: 6

Plenty of promise after replacing Meitei in the 61st minute. Seemed to close his eyes at the crucial time, sending his header down and out when he really should’ve scored after Kattimani misjudged the flight of Jackie’s set piece.

Prasanth K: NA

Came on for Izumi in the 73rd as Meulensteen threw caution to the wind. His cameo in the first game of the season remains his best outing to date.