Terrible defense in keeping inconsistent Kerala Blasters away from playoffs

For the second game in a row on Wednesday, the Kerala Blasters opened the scoring and brought their opponents back into the game in the second half of an Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 game.

The Blasters had a tough job to do at the start of the week. They had to face teams occupying the top two positions of the table. And as the week draws to a close, supporters must have learned why these two opponents are where they are on the table. Their mentality despite the concessions was a model for others to follow.

It wasn’t a typically dominant Mumbai City display against Blasters. There were a lot of positive signs for Kibu Vicuna’s side who managed to face the best team in the league.

Juande and Vicente Gomez, admittedly a bit slow on the ball, managed to dictate the steps in midfield against their opponents who were without the suspended Ahmed Jahouh.

The pendulum continued to swing in the first half and it was the Islanders who had the best scoring chances early in the game. Adam Le Fondre threatened twice in the first 15 minutes, after hanging on to Hugo Boumous ‘dangerous defensive splitter inside the box and shooting a few inches from Albino Gomes’ goal twice.

Blasters broke the deadlock after a good shot allowed Rahul KP to force a save on excellent Amrinder Singh and concede a corner kick. Sahal Abdul Samad delivered a perfect free kick from the left side for Vicente Gomez who directed the ball cleanly into the net. The pendulum had swung in the other direction.

Jordan Murray, out of nowhere, nearly doubled his team’s lead when he hit a fierce long volley that almost slipped into the top left corner of the net. Mumbai City first-half hero Amrinder Singh kept the league leaders in the contest and it came in handy.

Adam Le Fondre City of Bombay

The second half was devoted to Mumbai City’s mentality of breaking through the contest. It took them seconds to equalize against the worst defense in the league. A low cross into Cy Goddard’s penalty area took a deflection from Costa’s legs and found his way to Bipin at the far post who snuck in without scoring and slammed the ball home.

Mumbai actively sought a second goal and it was offered to them after the hour. Costa, who had been in bad shape from the first games, awkwardly knocked Le Fondre into the box and conceded a penalty. The forward wrote a thank you note with a powerful strike that left Gomes no chance. The pendulum had finished its final swing and the comeback was complete.

Despite all the positive results from the midfield and attacking the Blasters, their defense let them down and this has been a running theme in their games. Like many other teams, they’ve been after bad refereeing decisions, but in the end there is simply no excuse for a terrible defense.

Kerala Blasters Defense Numbers:

  • Kerala Blasters have conceded 27 goals in 16 matches, most by one team this season.
  • Kerala Blasters have conceded seven penalties, most by one team this season.
  • Kerala Blasters conceded 17 goals in the second half, the most for a team.
  • Kerala Blasters have dropped 16 points after scoring the first goal, most by a team this season.