Football

Blasters hope to continue good run

With no major injury worries, Delhi Dynamos, seen at a practice session here, will be keen to better its away record when it takes on Kerala Blasters on Sunday. Photo: H. Vibhu

With no major injury worries, Delhi Dynamos, seen at a practice session here, will be keen to better its away record when it takes on Kerala Blasters on Sunday. Photo: H. Vibhu  

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How quickly fortunes change in the Indian Super League!

Just a week ago, Delhi Dynamos was fourth in the eight-team league. It had even thrashed the strong Chennaiyin FC 4-1 on the way but now surprisingly, the team is languishing near the bottom, in seventh.

Strangely, Delhi Dynamos’s disappointing run started soon after it whipped Chennai in Delhi. It drew goalless against NorthEast United FC and then hit new lows, losing to FC Goa and then to Mumbai City in its last game.

So, this could be just the right time to play the Dynamos. And the home side, Kerala Blasters, which plays the Dynamos in a seventh round clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday evening, could be relishing the opportunity.

After their win against FC Goa in the last game here, the Blasters are on a high and though they are yet to sort out their frontline worries, one can expect them to fight harder. And the fact that they found a new goal-getter in Milagres Gonsalves should see them play with more confidence.

And then there is the crowd factor.

Nearly 50,000 turned out to cheer the Blasters in their last match and on Sunday, a similar or even a bigger crowd is expected. And that could put the visitor under more pressure.

Despite having the Juventus and Italian great Alessandro Del Piero, a former World Cup winner, Dynamos have not won a single away game — having lost two and drawing the other one — and that should be give the Blasters’ a huge advantage.

“Sometimes, they (the losses) stick together. But of all the games we played, I think the game in Goa was not our best performance,” said Harm Van Veldhoven, the Dynamos’ head coach. “In all the other games, we were there. So, we are trying to find solutions for those things, there are not so many injuries so we can use everybody.”

Meanwhile David James, the home side’s marquee and coach, said the crowd played a part in lifting the team in the last game.

“I can’t think of such a noise for 90 minutes in any of the games I’ve played before. It was a truly remarkable atmosphere and I think that helped us win the game,” said James, also the team’s goalkeeper.

And regarding the team’s forwards, some of whom who are yet to find their touch, he said, “as much as we have 51,000 fans to support the team, that also puts some pressure on the side. That was a big game for a lot of players, we handled that very well. It would have been nice to win 4-0, 5-0 but 1-0 was more than enough.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:48:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/indian-super-league-kerala-blasters-delhi-dynamos-match-preview/article6578635.ece

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