Kerala Blasters Chennaiyin Fc
Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC will look to gain the upper hand in the ISL first leg semifinalISL Official Website

The Kerala Blasters will have to do something they haven't been able to do so far this season against Chennaiyin FC, which is beat them, when the two teams lock horns in the first leg of the semifinal of the Indian Super League in Kochi.

A partisan crowd will greet the Blasters with great vigour and hope their team can go to Chennai carrying a healthy lead, with the first leg always so crucial for the home side.

However, they will have to do something they were unable to produce in the two league games, with Chennaiyin running out winners on both occasions. In fact, Chennaiyin were the only team to come away with three points from that fortress Kochi all season, and that will certainly pray in the mind of the Kerala Blasters going into this semifinal first leg.

"We are a difficult team to play against at home, having lost only one match on home turf," said Blasters assistant manager Trevor Morgan. "We will be playing in front of our fantastic supporters and we would like to make the home advantage count."

The Kerala Blasters sealed their spot in the semifinals by finishing in fourth place by the skin of their teeth, courtesy a narrow 1-0 win over Pune City FC. Kerala were second best in that match, but their defence just about held on, after Iain Hume had given them the lead.

The situation might not have been so dire, though, had the Kerala Blasters been more clinical in front of goal through the season. Because, they know if they score goals consistently, then they will invariably take a victory, owing to their mean defence, the best in the ISL.

"My job is to score goals and I would have loved to have more goals against my name," said Hume, who has been Kerala's best forward by a mile this season. "I'm sure that the other strikers in the team must be feeling the same.

"Goals have come from different players. Yes, we were a bit fortunate the other day [against PuneCity]. But everyone is working hard and we are creating chances."

Chennaiyin, while no doubt looking for a win, will be more than happy to leave Kochi with a score draw, knowing they themselves are a difficult team to beat at home.

The advantage of finishing above their opponents in the league is that option to play the second leg at home, and in manager Marco Materazzi, Chennaiyin FC have a player who has been there and done it all plenty of times in the past, with the presence of past master Alessandro Nesta just adding that extra bit of gloss as well.

"They are a very good side and have a good record at home," said Materazzi. "I said before our league match in Kochi that they will be in the semis so I am not surprised.

"It is going to be a difficult game but we will play for a win although we are away from home."

If the Kerala Blasters can find the back of the net, especially the first goal of the game, then this will be an extremely interesting tie. Allow Chennaiyin to run away with the game, though, and the contest could end quickly.

Where to Watch Live

The ISL semifinal first leg is scheduled for a 7 pm IST (1.30 pm GMT, 8.30 am ET) start with live coverage in India on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2,Star Sports 3, Star Gold, Asianet Movies, Suvarna Channel, Jalsha Movies and a few more channels. Viewers can also watch the ISL match via free live streaming online on

US viewers can live stream the semifinal on FoxSoccer2go, while Europe viewers can catch all the action live on Eurosport or their online Player.

South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa audience can catch the ISL first leg live on SuperSport or their online option. Viewers in Australia can catch the match live on Fox Sports or via their live video option online. Middle East and North Africa viewers can watch the match on Bein Sports or via live streaming on Bein Sports Connect.

Also read