I forayed into cinema as an actor with 'Shantham' directed by Jayaraj. Shantham, one of the nine basic rasas, is marked by the feeling of calmness, quietness and peacefulness. This word came to my mind while watching Kerala Blasters play against East Bengal.
The calmness and reassurance they exhibited against a side which remained undefeated in their last five games was commendable. Showing fine coordination and dissecting the rival defence with some slick passing, they held the upper hand until Scott Neville's injury-time goal cancelled out Jordan Murray's second-half goal.
East Bengal might have dominated ball possession, but it was the Kochi-based outfit who looked sharp in the rival goalmouth.
While the performance of their foreign recruits stood out in the 3-2 win over Jamshedpur FC, Blasters' young Indian brigade rose to the occasion and played with grit and a positive attitude this time around.
One player who impressed me the most was Sahal Abdul Samad. He gelled well with the rest of the team and kept playing his entertaining brand of football. He could deliver according to the standards expected of him. Any coach requires such players who can effectively execute his game plan on the pitch.
Despite failing to secure all three points, Kibu Vicuna's side has definitely shown signs of improvement. It is heartbreaking when all the hard work put in gets undone late on by a sloppy error.
To concede at the fag end of the match was unfortunate. I believe that could have been avoided.
(The writer is a former captain of the Indian football team)