Kerala Blasters hosted Jamshedpur FC at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco, Goa for the 41st match of the Indian Super League 2021-22. The match ended in a one-all draw as Greg Stewart and Sahal Abdul Samad found the net for JFC and KBFC respectively. With this draw, Jamshedpur FC now sits in the second position with 13 points from 8 games, just above Kerala Blasters who have 13 points from 8 games too. Tonight's encounter was a hard-fought battle between the Blasters and The Men of Steel, below are the top five talking points from the game.
Stewart shines again
Greg Stewart continues his good form in the league. The Scottish player have now got 5 goals and 4 assist under his belt. Stewart again exhibited his left foot magic against Kerala Blasters. Today, Jamshedpur FC played with a formation of 4-4-1-1 and he was again used as a number 10 or as a second striker behind Jordan Murray.
Inside the first quarter of the game, at the mark of 14th minute, Stewart scored from a direct freekick with an unimaginable curling effort from quite far away from the goal (33.9 m). Stewart maintained his impressive form and created any chances with the help of his slick thinking and quick feet.
Sahal Abdul Samad finally delivering
Sahal Abdul Samad continued his goal-scoring form against the miners. The KBFC equalizer at the 27th minute saw his name being on the score sheet for 3 consecutive matches, making him the only second Indian player to score in 3 consecutive games, following the footsteps of Sunil Chhetri. The midfielder put in a good shift tonight in both defence and attack and is currently the top scorer for KBFC this season.
A few years back Sahal made his debut in the Indian football circuit and was deemed as the next big thing in Indian football. However, the KBFC midfielder failed to reach consistency and was seen being dropped to the bench in the previous season. But this season has been the turnaround season for Sahal.
An equal game
Both teams showed tonight why they are positioned at the top half in the points table. No team left an inch and tried effortlessly to best their opponent. Kerala Blasters started the game with a 4-4-2 formation against a Jamshedpur FC side using 4-4-1-1.
With the starting minute itself, Kerala Blasters looked to capitalize on the counter with quick and tricky passes from the trio of Luna, Vazquez, and Diaz. On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC looked to build from both the wings and capitalize on set pieces. The game ended with a scoreline of 1-1, quite a justified result given the hard fight both teams presented with.
Adrian Luna injured
Adrian Luna plays the role of the main workhorse in Kerala Blaster's midfield. However, the Uruguayan attacking midfielder got a muscle injury and was replaced while limping at the hour mark. Luna has scored once and assisted thrice but has created an ample amount of key chances for his team.
In simple terms, Luna makes it possible for the KBFC forwards to gel very well in attack and work as a single unit. Although unconfirmed, Luna can be out for a couple of matches due to this injury which can take the shape of a massive setback for the Blasters in the coming weeks.
Jamshedpur FC missed a target man
Jamshedpur FC has been a top side in the league this season but what they are missing is a target man in front of the goal. And this point got highlighted with today's performance. JFC needs a man to convert their chances and fulfil the role of a target man. Their best player till now, Greg Stewart is played as a second striker or number 10 not as a complete forward.
However, it's not that the red miners are lacking players in that position. JFC have got the likes of Jordan Murray and Nerijus Valskis but both the players have failed to justify their names till now in the season. Ishan Pandita is also there but is used mostly as a substitute and is given only limited time.