Match Report: Jamshedpur FC keep their play-off hopes alive with a victory over Kerala Blasters


Jamshedpur FC were on a winless run since six league matches. Kerala Blasters on the other hand had dismantled Hyderabad FC and scored an away victory against the league leaders ATK FC. Both teams had to win to keep up any hopes of qualifying for the play-offs.

It was an explosive start to the contest with Joyner Lourenco getting cautioned in the 1st minute. Joyner Lourenco dived in with his studs up and caught Mouhamadou and was booked straightaway. Both the teams were settling in when suddenly Bikash Jairu passed it back to Subrata Paul who missed his kick completely and Messi Bouli got to the end of it and put it into the back of the net. Kerala Blasters missed a huge chance when Messi Bouli was through on goal by and was one-on-one with Subrata Paul. Messi Bouli went for the shot but shot it off the target.

As the half progressed, it was the Jamshedpur FC who dominated possession and the equaliser did come in the 39th minute. Kerala Blasters failed to clear the danger after a quickly-taken-set-piece and the ball ended up with Aitor Monroy just outside the penalty box. The Spaniard played in an inch-perfect cross to Noe Acosta, who responded with a cool cushioned finish. The two teams headed in for the break level at 1-1.

Five minutes into the restart, Kerala Blasters were reduced to 10 men after Abdul Hakku was sent off for his second booking of the night following a sliding tackle on David Grande. Despite being down by a man, Kerala struck the next goal. The Captain, Bartholomew Ogbeche headed in a cross from Jessel Carneiro in the 56th minute to make it 2-1 in Kerala’s favour. In an attempt to salvage the situation, Sergio Castel was brought in place of Sumeet Passi. The Spaniard, making his return after missing Jamshedpur’s last five matches with an injury, played a pivotal role in the equaliser at the 75th minute. Messi handled the ball while trying to deny Castel a header on goal from a corner, which resulted in a penalty. Castel stepped up and converted to mark his return with his sixth strike of the season.

The equaliser set up an intriguing end to the match with the Jamshedpur FC trying to press on for a winner and the pressure paid off in the 86th minute. Castel missed a golden opportunity to head home his second of the night, but the ball fell to Grande in the left-hand side of the Kerala box. He sent the ball back into the danger zone. With Castel breathing down his neck, Ogbeche attempted to clear it but got his connection wrong and directed the ball inside his own net. The Kerala skipper came close to redeeming himself a couple of minutes later but his low shot from distance came off the post after beating Subrata. The match eventually concluded with the scoreline reading 3-2 for the home side.

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