Talking Tactics: Key battles to watch out for in Kerala Blasters FC vs Jamshedpur FC semi-final second leg
Kerala Blasters FC will lock horns with Jamshedpur FC in the second leg of semi-final 1 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama, Goa on Tuesday.
Kerala Blasters FC defeated Jamshedpur by a goal to nil in the first leg of the semi-final 1. A 38th minute strike from Sahal Samad saw KBFC take a slender lead into the second leg.
With only a goal separating the two teams and a place in the final at stake, winning crucial one-on-one battles can make the difference for either side.
While the first leg was a cagey affair between the two, here's a look at some of the key battles that could decide the outcome of the match between two these two sides.
Alvaro Vazquez vs Peter Hartley
Key to KBFC’s attacking play, Alvaro Vazquez attempted one shot in the first leg, had 17 touches of the ball, and attempted 14 passes. He was subbed off at seventy-second minute.
The striker was up against Peter Hartley, who did a good job against him last time around. Hartley made three clearances, two interceptions and a block. He had 32 touches of the ball and attempted 22 passes.
While the roles maybe complete opposite for the two, Hartley can ship up a goal or two with his powerful heading skills from set-pieces, and as for Vazquez, he can track back and recover possession with tackles and interceptions.
Ritwik Das vs Harmanjot Khabra
Ritwik Das was a livewire in the first leg of the semi-final. The 25-year-old took a shot and created a chance in the match. He had 34 touches of the ball and attempted 23 passes. In addition, he made three crosses in the match. Defensively, he made two tackles, one interception and one block.
The left-winger faced a stern challenge in Harmanjot Khabra. The right-back kept Das relatively quiet in the first leg. Khabra registered three clearances, one interception and one block in the match. In the offensive play, he created a chance and took five freekicks. He had 46 touches of the ball and delivered one cross.
Greg Stewart vs Adrian Luna
Greg Stewart created two chances and attempted 40 passes, maintaining an accuracy of 70%, and had 53 touches. Moreover, the Scotsman took four corners and six freekicks.
Adrian Luna, on the other hand, had two shots at goal and 65 touches of the ball. The midfielder attempted 40 passes with an accuracy of 65%. In addition, he took three freekicks and one corner.
Both the players have been a leader upfront for their respective teams. Their individual performances could well decide the fate of the match.