Jamshedpur FC came from behind twice to beat Kerala Blasters FC 3-2 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Sunday. The win also ended Jamshedpur’s six-match winless run in Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 and keeps them in the top four race. For Kerala, the loss marks the end of their two-match winning streak.
After a busy start to the contest, Messi Bouli had the first shot on target in the 10th minute but it was straight at Subrata Paul in the Jamshedpur goal. A minute later, however, the Cameroonian got the better of the Jamshedpur custodian. Messi closed Subrata down as he attempted to clear a back pass and forced an error from the veteran keeper, who miskicked the ball. With an empty goal at his mercy, Messi slotted home his sixth goal of the season to make it 1-0.
Jamshedpur tried to respond and Aitor Monroy forced a save from TP Rehenesh in the Kerala goal soon after. Almost immediately at the other end, Messi found himself through on goal yet again but this time, blazed his shot over. During the course of the chance, however, Jamshedpur captain Tiri picked up a knock and had to go off the field.
As the half progressed, it was the home team which dominated possession but couldn’t really create notable chances. The equaliser, however, did come in the 39th minute. Kerala failed to clear the danger after a quickly taken set piece and the ball ended up with Monroy just outside the penalty box. The Spaniard played in an inch-perfect cross for his countryman 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 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 next. Bartholomew Ogbeche headed in a Jessel Carneiro cross in the 56th minute to make it 2-1 in Kerala’s favour. Desperate to get back into the contest, Antonio Iriondo threw in top scorer Sergio Castel into the fray in the 65th minute and the change yielded instant results.
The Spaniard, making his return after missing Jamshedpur’s last five matches with an injury, played a pivotal role in the home team’s 75th minute equaliser. Messi handled the ball while trying to deny Castel a header on goal from a corner, which resulted in a penalty for Jamshedpur. 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 home team 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. The 28-year-old sent the ball back into the danger zone. With Castel breathing down his neck, Ogbeche attempted to hoof it clear 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.