Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 | Last Update : 09:22 AM IST

Dheeraj Singh concedes six on Kerala debut

THE ASIAN AGE. | ARUN GEORGE
Published : Jul 25, 2018, 1:18 am IST
Updated : Jul 25, 2018, 1:18 am IST

The visitors, arguably with their best XI on field, had long dictated terms and Kerala had come to life occasionally but never looked threatening.

Melbourne City FC’s Biley McGree (right) scores against Kerala Blasters in Kochi on Tuesday. MCFC won 6-0. (Photo: Arun Chandrabose)
 Melbourne City FC’s Biley McGree (right) scores against Kerala Blasters in Kochi on Tuesday. MCFC won 6-0. (Photo: Arun Chandrabose)

Kochi: Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh appeared jittery as he took guard. A fine line of defenders in front of him, comprising Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Cyril Kali and Lakic-pesic, possibly the best set available for the Kerala Blasters at present, offered little comfort to the 18-year-old as he warmed up for his Kerala debut in the Toyota Yaris La Liga World pre-season tournament here on Tuesday.

The idea of facing a team of Melbourne City FC’s potential, regardless of it being a friendly outing, had presented itself with a massive opportunity to the former India U-17 World Cupper.

But it all ended in agony with Kerala Blasters losing 0-6.

At half-time, the goalkeeper had slapped the turf twice in agony initially left at the mercy of Dario Vidosic, who couldn’t miss a free header of this kind in a hundred tries. Two minutes later, he was undone by a Riley McGree drive on the turn from the edge of the box that was aided by a thick deflection.

The fact that Salvisa Stojanovic and Matej Poplatnik, the latter donning Iain Hume’s priceless No. 10 jersey, had paired upfront for the hosts in an enterprising 4-4-2 formation that dropped into a 5-4-1 cluster while defending, was no longer a point of contention.

The visitors, arguably with their best XI on field, had long dictated terms and Kerala had come to life occasionally but never looked threatening.

The visitors scored twice within 10 minutes from restart, McGree firing in from an acute angle after substitute Lachlan Wales had turned in a rebound, Dheeraj’s shoulders had stooped.

The young Manipuri did effect a couple of decent saves in between, but Najjarine and Bruno Fornaroli hammering home two more to make it a tennis score of 6-0 proved the gulf between the two teams.

Tags: kerala blasters, dheeraj singh