Jamshedpur FC churned out a 1 - 1 draw against Kerala Blasters in a game where they were second best for majority of the duration. Carlos Calvo gave the Men of Steel the lead in the second half through a penalty but a strike from Seiminlen Doungel soon after levelled the proceedings. The game ended with honours shared as Jamshedpur FC struggled their way to their seventh draw of the season.
For the Kochi clash, Cesar Ferrando gave starts to Mobashir Rahman and new boy, Malsawmzuala along with Tim Cahill who led the line for the away side. Memo was given the centre back duties alongside Tiri while Zuala played in a quarterback role.
The game started in the worst possible way for Jamshedpur FC as Michael Soosairaj limped off in the 12th minute through a hamstring problem. His replacement, Jerry Mawia brought some energy to the visitors who were looking a bit off the pace in the first half. Kerala Blasters created numerous opportunities in the first half but lacked the clinical edge to go ahead.
In the 34th minute, Kerala's Doungel hit the crossbar in an attempt that should have been scored by the hosts. Both sides went into the break with the game hanging in the balance due to Kerala's profligacy in front of goal and some gritty defending by the Jamshedpur FC defenders.
Cesar Ferrando brought Pratik Chaudhari in the break to move Memo up the field in his favourable position. This change was done with a view to wrestle back the advantage in midfield, an area which was being dominated by Kerala Blasters.
But it was the home team that were dominating in the second interval as well with Jamshedpur FC needing to make last-ditch tackles and clearances to deny an opening goal in the match. Then in the 66th minute, against the run of play and due to a misjudgment from the referee, Jamshedpur FC were awarded a penalty.
Tim Cahill was clattered down by Dheeraj Singh and Carlos Calvo stepped up to do the needful. The Spaniard hit his shot with disdain to give the visitors a lead. Ferrando's men entered the last 20 minutes of the game with a hope of a famous smash-and-grab win in Kochi.
But after another goal line clearance from Tim Cahill to deny Kerala Blasters an equalizer, the Jamshedpur FC defence gave way in the 77th minute. A scramble in the box from a Kerala Blasters free-kick presented Doungel with a chance to level and he did what was needed from him to score the leveler.
Last 10 minutes of the game saw both sides being involved in some box to box stuff with chances coming one after the other. For Jamshedpur FC, Farukh Choudhary had a one-on-one chance in the 88th minute which was saved by Dheeraj Singh. Then with a minute to go, Carlos Calvo shot wide and missed a golden opportunity to win it for the visitors.
Jamshedpur FC were under the kosh for major durations tonight but their defence almost bailed them out in what could have been a crucial win. Cesar Ferrando would be disappointed with the result but not with the effort put in by his players. The Men of Steel now face Delhi Dynamos next on December 12 at the Furnace.