ISL: Odisha FC on a high, seek to continue winning run vs Kerala Blasters
Vasco da Gama (Goa): Spanish coach Kiko Ramirez seems to have instilled confidence in his players as Odisha FC have not dropped a single point in this edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) so far, and would be going into the match against Kerala Blasters FC here later on Sunday on the back of a massive win against SC East Bengal.
In the last match on November 30, Odisha FC defeated the Kolkata giants 6-4, giving an indication of their scoring prowess. The eighth-ranked Kerala Blasters FC could bear the brunt of a full Odisha FC attack when they clash at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here.
In the last match, Kerala Blasters FC played out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC and are winless in the season so far. They have had only eight shots on target in three matches. Their foreign attackers are yet to get on the scores-sheet and manager Ivan Vukomanovic has plenty of things on his table to sort out before the kick-off.
With KBFC searching for their three points and Odisha FC aiming to keep their record intact, the match has a lot at stake and can potentially take a toll on how these two teams perform in the rest of the season.
Kerala Blasters FC have been able to gain only two points from a potential nine. After losing the first match 3-0 against ATK Mohun Bagan, Vukomanovic’s side came back to pick up two draws against NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC respectively. Against NEUFC, the game ended 0-0, while against BFC it was 1-1.
On the other hand, Odisha FC have two wins out of two. In the first match, they defeated 2018/19 champions Bengaluru FC 3-1 and then drilled six goals past SC East Bengal. The good thing is that OFC doesn’t have injury concerns and their full squad is available for selection.
They have the ever-dependable midfielder Javi Hernandez, who has three goals and two assists so far. The Spaniard has the ability to put pin-point crosses from dead ball situations. Another Spaniard, centre-back Hector Rodas Ramirez scored two goals in the last match. Along with his partner Victor Mongi, the team has been able to play out from the back. Both his goals in the last match came from a ball swung inside the box by Hernandez.
Kerala Blasters FC are without a win in 11 matches now with their last victory coming against Bengaluru FC in January 2021. They would hope to give their fans reason to celebrate on Sunday night.