Hyderabad had no fighting spirit and dramatic comebacks to offer against Kerala Blasters, they badly need a relegation battle…
When a ninth-placed team takes on a 10th-placed team, with both of them having registered only one win in ten matches, the fans can expect either a dull contest or a high-scoring game riddled with errors.
It was an error-prone contest that the Kochi crowd witnessed on Sunday but it was Hyderabad that committed all the mistakes.
There is no energy left in the Hyderabad squad to play football games that last ninety minutes. The performance against Kerala Blasters was devoid of commitment and desire and you tend to wonder what would have happened if Indian Super League (ISL) had relegation in place.
Kerala Blasters are going through a difficult season but against Hyderabad, they punished bad defending and showed no mercy. There was a fighting spirit on display that Eelco Schattorie and the supporters wanted to see.
Hyderabad were in the game for only the first 14 minutes. After a couple of diagonals to the left flank for Marcelinho, who outfoxed young Mohamad Rakip more than once in the opening minutes, the Brazilian talisman laid the ball on a plate for Bobo to score the opening goal.
Given recent performances and the tendency to concede goals, the supporters would have been forgiven for thinking there would be no getting back. But this was a match against the league’s worst team, the only team below Blasters on the table (up until the matchday).
All it took for Hyderabad’s defence to break was an injury to Rafa Lopez who was stretchered off the field due to an injury. Kerala Blasters then equalised, took the lead and then extended it, all in the space of 12 minutes. Bobo’s opener had become a distant memory. The defence, led by Adil Khan who had to slot in at centre-back after Rafa was subbed off, had a game to forget.
“We let ourselves down. We conceded easy goals after that. Even after conceding, we should have stayed strong. It was a bad day today,” Adil told Goal after the game. “That was the point where lost the concentration. I should have done much better. Now we have to win more games, we can’t blame each other. We have to stick together.”
Hyderabad should have mounted a second-half fight but they just couldn’t find the right motivation. It was almost as if there is nothing left to play for this season, they had simply given up. There was no late drama or spirited comebacks on offer. There was more bad defending.
With his team desperately searching for wins, Eelco Schattorie rang in the changes, placing Seityasen Singh and Halicharan Narzary on the wings and sticking with Bartholomew Ogbeche and Messi up top. What did Phil Brown do to his lineup? He dropped Kamaljit Singh to the bench and opted to go into the game with Laxmikant Kattimani in between the sticks.
Have Hyderabad well and truly given up?