Kerala out of contention
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 20: Jamshedpur FC beat Kerala Blasters a 3-2 on home ground to move to the sixth place on the 10-team Indian Super League (ISL) table after 12 matches. Bartholomew Ogbeche’s 87th-minute own-goal proved decisive, with Jamshedpur twice coming from behind to equalize.
While the three points were crucial in Jamshedpur’s push for a playoff spot, its defending against Kerala left a lot to be desired, the same being true for Eelco Schattorie’s side.
With the result Kerala Blasters FC are all but out of the race for top four in the ISL after this defeat at the hands of Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex Sunday.
Messi Bouli gave the visitors the lead in the 11th minute but Noe Acosta equalized in the 39th minute and Sergio Castel equalized from the penalty spot in the 75th minute. An own goal from Bartholomew Ogbeche in the 87th minute settled the game.
The result moved Jamshedpur up to 6th with 16 points from 12 games and keeps the hopes alive to make the last four while Kerala Blasters slipped down to 8th with 14 points from 13 games.
The visitors started on the front foot trying to press the hosts and the game practically got off with a yellow card to Joyner Lourenco for a lunge on Mouhamadou Moustapha Gning.
A mix up in the Jamshedpur defense resulted in the first goal in the 11th minute.
Subrata Paul threw the ball out to Bikash jairu and the left back tried to pass the ball back to the keeper.
However, the ball was under-hit. The keeper tried to clear it but fluffed his shot and Messi Bouli got the ball in the net. Messi Bouli missed a chance to double the lead but he shot wide. Bartholomew Ogbeche was booked for dissent in the 45th minute and it was 1-1 at half time.
The second half started with Kerala trying to take the lead. However, their plans went out the window in the 50th minute. Abdul Hakku was given a second yellow for a tackle from behind and was subsequently sent off.
Schattorie brought in Jeakson Singh for Sahal Abdul Samad while Mouhamadou Moustapha Gning shifted to centre back. The dismissal did not seem to affect Kerala Blasters as their captain Ogbeche scored just six minute later.
Jessel Carneiro was sent down the left but was turned away by Memo Moura. Jessel checked back and whipped in a cross with his weaker right foot into the Jamshedpur box. Ogbeche and Messi Bouli were waiting and the Kerala Blasters captain headed the ball into the net.
Sergio Castel replaced Sumeet Passi in the 66th minute as Jamshedpur tried to take advantage of their numerical superiority.
The Spaniard did not have to wait for long as Jamshedpur was awarded a penalty in the 75th minute when Messi Bouli handled the ball inside the penalty area while defending a corner.
Eelco Schattorie was furious and was shown a yellow card for protesting but he decision stood. Sergio Castel slotted the penalty into the bottom left corner.
T.P. Rehenesh dove in the right direction and got his fingers to it but could not keep the ball out. It was 2-2 and Ogbeche self goal in the 87th minute sealed the fate of Kerala Blasters.
It had been over 50 days since Jamshedpur tasted victory – a 1-0 away win against FC Goa on Nov 26 – and beating Kerala was crucial in their bid to qualify for the playoffs.
The win took Jamshedpur to sixth, above Kerala and Chennaiyin FC on the ISL table, while it has also played a match less than the Kerala Blasters.