Kerala Blasters FC missed a few clear-cut chances as they were held to a goalless draw by NorthEast United FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa on Thursday. The game had very few clear-cut chances but all of them went the Kerala Blasters’ who couldn’t quite add the finishing touches to make them count.
However, it was the Highlanders who came the closest to opening the deadlock in the 26th minute when Hernan Santana’s free-kick flew just wide of the woodwork.
Four minutes later the Blasters went close as Jorge Diaz headed an Adrian Luna cross inches wide of the target.
The biggest chance of the first half though came the Kerala Blasters’ way in the 36th minute when Provat Lakra was tackled by Luna and the Highlanders defender ended up giving the ball to Diaz despite being in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper fired wide.
A heated exchange between Harmanjot Khabra and Suhair Vadakkepeedika threatened to get the game going but there were no further chances as the first half drew to a close.
Blasters squandered a huge chance to get on the scoresheet six minutes after the restart when Vincy Barretto dashed into the box after beating a defender. But with just the goalkeeper to beat he picked Sahal Abdul Samad who despite being in a great position to score, fired off target with virtually an empty goal in front of him.
Three minutes later Diaz had a great opening to find the back of the net but he shot it straight at the goalkeeper.
The Blasters’ bright start to the second half faded as both coaches tried to freshen things up by making a host of changes but it wasn’t until the 83rd minute that either team created a big chance.
NorthEast United had goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Choudhary to thank to keep the score at 0-0 as he denied Alvaro Vazquez at full stretch as he tried to head in a pinpoint cross from Nishu Kumar.
Vazquez then had another chance to win it in stoppage time when he attempted a long-range effort that was inches away from the target.
The referee’s whistle indicated the share of spoils as both Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC got off the mark for the season.