NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters play out listless stalemate in Guwahati
Lalengmawia NorthEast United Kerala Blasters ISL 6
In a match that was literally devoid of quality in the final third, it was no surprise that both teams failed to score...

NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters played out a goalless draw in an uninspiring Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium in Guwahati, Assam, on Friday.

After a barren first half, both sides failed to convert whatever chances that came their way and had to settle for a lackluster draw.

The Highlanders stay ninth on the table with 12 points and Kerala eighth with 15 points. Both sides were out of the running for the play-offs even before the match started, thanks to Mumbai City's win over Jamshedpur FC on Thursday.

Robert Jarni brought in Rakesh Pradhan in place of suspended Reagan Singh besides bringing Kai Heerings and Milan Singh in place of Wayne Vaz and Jose Leudo in the hosts' first 11.

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On the other hand, Rehenesh TP was dropped from matchday squad for Kerala along with Raphael Messi Bouli. Bilal Khan was deployed in between the sticks. Moutapha Gning and Vlatko Drobarob returned from suspension along with Lalruatthara and Sahal Samad who also got a look in.

It was a cagey first half with just one shot on target that came in the 45th minute when Subhasish Roy Chowdhury was in the right place to cling on to Gning's header off a Sergio Cidoncha free-kick.

NorthEast United Kerala Blasters ISL 6

Bartholomew Ogbeche and Andrew Keogh were well marshalled by both defences, although the latter did get close on an occasion. The Irishman got at the end of Federico Gallego's delivery from a free-kick only to volley wide a first time effort in the 41st minute.

The second half saw a fair few chances created by both sides but profligate finishing meant all of them went begging. Nikhil Kadam probably had the best of them all within two minutes of the restart when Gallego picked his run into the box with a brilliant pass. But Kadam's shot from close range was straight at Bilal Khan.

At the other end, Kerala also were guilty of spurning opportunities. Gning forced a save from Subhasish with a first-time effort from the edge of the box while Halicharan Narzary stung Subhasish's palms with a fierce left-footed drive.

It continued to be a feature of the game with Ogbeche guilty of slashing wide from close range after getting on the end of a long ball from Gianni Zuiverloon. At the other end, Keogh collected a pass from Gallego well, only to shoot it straight at Bilal Khan.

The game just fizzled out towards the end, with neither side showing the urgency nor the quality required to settle the match.

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