Street Child Football World Cup: Pakistan finish second

Ivan Won By Giving The Ball To Goa: It Was Pena’s Overconfidence That Broke It: When FC Goa reached the battleground in Kochi, the excitement of Kerala Blasters fans was high. The reason for fans’ concern is that they have not been able to perform well against Goa in the recent past. But when they leave the stadium after a 90-minute-long thriller, the excitement of the Blasters fans is on the rise.

Blasters could not even touch the ball for most of the first half where Goa dominated the ball and passed. But near the end of the first half, Blasters coach Ivan Vukomanovic revealed his strategy.

Goa coach Carlos Pena’s big confidence before the match against Blasters was the performance of the Indian players. With foreign center backs Mark Valiente and Fares Arnavout injured, Pena played a defensive line consisting of only Indian players in the last match. Pena’s confidence was boosted when the team secured a clean sheet against the mighty Jamshedpur. Pena calculated that he can assign all his foreign players to advance against the Blasters.

Pena’s move backfired before the match. The hopeful Glan Martins could not play due to injury. In the 21st minute of the match, left-back Xavier Gama also got injured. This revealed the weakness of Goa’s Indian backline. Blasters were capitalizing on this one after the other.

The likes of Adrian Luna, Dimitri Diamentakos, and Sahal Abdul Samad pressed Goa’s backline. A clear example of this was Blasters’ third goal scored by Ivan Kaliushny. Kaliushni’s brilliant goal came from the ball that Dimi won by pressing the Goan player. In the second half of the match, similar to last season, the Blasters saw a lot of counter-attacking moves, neutralizing the opposition in the middle of the field.

Not only did he break the opposition’s defense, but he also locked down their powerful forward line magnificently, which helped the Blasters win. The Blaster’s defense locked down the Goa frontline played by Noah Sadaoui, Iker Guaroxena, Alvaro Vasquez, and Brendan Fernandez. Sandeep Singh, who played in the right-back role for the first time in the season, prevented Noah from entering the box. The Marko Leskovic-Ruiva Hormipalm center-back duo have returned to scintillating form, despite having dropped one at the start of the season.

Controlling the ball was not the strategy that brought the Blasters so close to the title last season. In the match against Goa, Blastersel and Evan grabbed the victory by handing the ball to them to pass smartly.

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