ISL: Kalinga Battle For Pride Between Odisha & Kerala Today

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha FC will look to end their league season on a winning note when they host Kerala Blasters FC at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

The home side’s hopes of making it to the play-offs ended on Saturday when Chennaiyin FC beat Mumbai City FC to finish fourth.

Well Done: Coach

Odisha FC coach Josep Gombau has been proud of the performance from his players throughout the season as he reckons that they have improved, news agency IANS reported.

“We have a good base here. There are good fans. For a young team, for a new team which has just moved to the city, it is good enough to finish fifth. It’s just the beginning of a very good project. In the next season, the fields will be better, along with the training grounds. The young players will be more experienced,” said Gombau.

Star Performer

Manuel Onwu has been a revelation since his loan move from Bengaluru FC. The forward has netted four goals in three outings as opposed to none in over 370 minutes with the Blues.

Kerala’s Troubles

Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters didn’t have a memorable campaign. Injuries hampered their season with every foreign signing of the club spending sometime on the sidelines. Sandesh Jhingan was ruled out at the start of the season which didn’t help their cause either.

Coach Eelco Schattorie was forced to change his starting eleven in almost every match and it was difficult for them to get on a consistent run. “This season, we are going to play game number 18 tomorrow and 17 times I had to change the team – not because I want to change but because I had to,” said the Dutch coach.

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