Delhi aim to overturn deficit vs Kerala to enter ISL final (Preview)

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) Delhi Dynamos will look to exploit Kerala Blasters’ unimpressive away form to overturn a one goal deficit in the return leg Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final football match here on Wednesday.

Delhi lost the first leg semi-final 0-1 away in Kochi but Delhi will still be confident of reaching the final, particularly because of their encouraging home record.

They are the only team not to lose at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here and have scored 18 goals in the process during the group stages, the most by any team in ISL this season.

“When we play at home, it is an advantage for us. To play in front of our fans is an advantage, and we are fortunate to have the second match at home and it is a good opportunity for us. I hope we are able to utilise this opportunity,” said Delhi coach Gianluca Zambrotta, as per an ISL release.

Delhi were disappointing in their away clash, failing to trouble the Kerala defence. Strikers like Marcelinho Pereira and Richard Gadze had little impact on the match.

Even Delhi’s marquee player, the in-form Florent Malouda couldn’t impose himself. But they will look to avoid another disappointment like last season when they lost against FC Goa in the semi-finals.

Kerala need only a draw to qualify for their second final in three years. They have added impetus to reach the final as it will be played in their own backyard on December 18.

But Kerala’s unimpressive away record will be a concern for coach Steve Coppell as they have conceded 11 goals away from home this season, the most among four semi-finalists, and managed to score just four goals away from home, the fewest by any team.

“We will just go out and play and I don’t think you can set out and decide that we will defend or counter-attack and the game has an ebb and flow to it,” said coach Steve Coppell.

“But at home knowing that they have to score goals and beat us, so they might have more urgency in their play and we might be pressurised a little bit more and there is no way we will go there thinking we are 1-0 ahead. We will defend it but we will just go there and play and see what happens.”

–IANS

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