|Hello and welcome to Sportstar‘s LIVE blog of the Friday’s ISL 2019-20 match between Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.|
46′ Kerala Blasters gets us underway for the second half, playing from right to left.
Half-time: PEEP, PEEP, PEEP! It took a while to come to life but in the end, it was a wonderful half of football. Jamshedpur FC’s fought back after the defensive error led to Messi Bouli putting Kerala Blasters 1-0 up, with Noe Acosta scoring the equaliser five minutes before half-time.
45+2′ Bartholomew Ogbeche is shown a yellow card for showing dissent. He had been penalised by the referee for a perceived foul.
45′ We are into three minutes of stoppage time.
39′ GOAL! Noe Acosta pulls Jamshedpur FC level with a volleyed, left-footed finish! A wonderful team goal, set up by Aitor Monroy’s unstoppable cross for Acosta, who applies a first-time finish.
31′ SAVED! Noe Acosta with a dipping, swerving free-kick from the right, but T.P. Rehenesh gets his fingertips to it and saves! A well-disguised free-kick and Rehenesh was alert to what Acosta was trying to do.
26′ CHANCE! Jamshedpur’s Noe Acosta crosses for David Grande, who’s unable to control it and the chance fizzles out. He still would have had plenty to do because the cross was fizzed into the midriff area and it didn’t stick for him.
Substitution for Jamshedpur FC: Tiri’s injured following his challenge on Messi Bouli and is stretchered off; Narender Gahlot replaces him
15′ CHANCE! Messi Bouli has a chance to double Kerala Blasters’ lead, but he shoots over from close range. Jamshedpur FC’s defence is all over the place. A ball’s played in the channel from midfield, it finds Messi Bouli, who drives forward and as he readies to pull the trigger, Tiri applies a bit of pressure from behind and Messi’s shot flies over the crossbar. Huge let-off for Jamshedpur!
11′ GOAL! Messi Bouli pounces on a loose pass across the Jamshedpur FC defensive line, rounds goalkeeper Subrata Paul and applies an easy finish, putting the visitor 1-0 up. Subrata distributed the ball out to Bikash Jairu, who tried to pass for Tiri as the home defence looked to build up from the back, but Jairu’s pass was neither at the feet of Tiri nor Subrata but right onto the path of Messi, who makes no mistake.
10′ Still very early in the match but both teams have struggled to string a few passes together and retain possession, which has at times been as a result of poor first touch and, at other times, the weight of the pass has been heavy.
6′ Jamshedpur wins a free-kick in the attacking half, it’s delivered by Memo Moura but his delivery is headed away with little fuss. Kerala Blasters has a chance to counter from that defensive header but Jamshedpur crowd out Mario Arques and quell the danger.
1′ Just seconds after kick-off, Joyner Lourenco puts in a rash challenge, trips Vlatko Drobarov and the challenge is deemed dangerous, which means he’s shown a yellow card.
Kick-off: Jamshedpur gets us underway, playing from right to left at the Furnace.
The players are the tunnel, ready to make their way out to the middle. We are ready for the Indian national anthem. The national anthem, the customary handshake and team photos are complete. We are ready for kick-off.
Jamshedpur FC starting XI: Subrata Paul (GK), Tiri (C), Joyner Lourenco, Aitor Monroy, Amarjit Singh, Noe Acosta, Bikash Jairu, Memo Moura, Sumeet Passi, David Grande, Farukh Choudhary (Substitutions: Rafique Ali, Narender Gahlot, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Mobashir Rahman, Aniket Jadhav, C.K. Vineeth, Sergio Castel)
Kerala Blasters starting XI: TP Rehenesh (GK), Mohamad Rakip, Jessel Carneiro, Abdul Hakku, Vlatko Drobarov, Mario Arques, Halicharan Narzary, Sahal Abdul Samad, Mouhamadou Gning, Messi Bouli, Bartholomew Ogbeche (C) (Substitutions: Bilal Husain Khan, Raju Gaikwad, Jeakson Singh, Mohammed Rafi, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Sergio Cidoncha, Shaiborlang Kharpan)
Jamshedpur is winless in six games now and lost its last three games which has put it in a precarious position in the race for top four. Anything less than a win against Kerala Blasters could virtually see the gap with the top four become insurmountable.
While Jamshedpur is eighth on the table with 13 points, Kerala Blasters is a point ahead of it. The Men in Yellow will also be desperate for a victory. They have their tails up though, given they are coming into this game after back-to-back wins over Hyderabad FC and ATK.
Jamshedpur was second on the table at one point in the season before the poor run of form. Much of that is down to the injuries to key players like Sergio Castel and Piti. Castel’s goals have been sorely missed by Antonio Iriondo. No Jamshedpur player has, in fact, scored more than one goal this season apart from Castel.
“We are doing as much as we can to win our games. If you look at the last match against Bengaluru, for example, we had more ball possession. We had 14 corner kicks and they had four. We created chances but we missed opportunities and gifted them the second goal. The way we are working and the way we are playing, it (winless run) has to stop soon,” said a hopeful Iriondo.
New forward David Grande will be expected to contribute soon. Farukh Chowdhury, who looked to be in good form earlier this season, has struggled of late. With six goals conceded in the last three games, the defence has also been erratic for Iriondo’s side. One feels Jamshedpur needs a rousing result to get some of its confidence and swagger back.
While Jamshedpur has trouble scoring goals, Kerala Blasters has been among the goals recently. Bartholomew Ogbeche and Raphael Messi Bouli have been amongst the goals, contributing 11 out of the 16 goals Eelco Schattorie’s side has scored.
Riding the recent wave of positivity, Kerala Blasters will be looking to make it three wins in three, something it has never achieved in the league stages of the ISL.
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“I think the (top four) chances are still open as the teams above us can drop some points. It’s very congested. But, to be very honest, I’m not focused on the top four but on the game against Jamshedpur, then Goa, and then Chennaiyin. So I go game by game because in football or life I don’t believe in looking at things too far ahead because you don’t control them,” Schattorie said.
However, Kerala Blasters will need to improve its away form. Its win in Kolkata against ATK in the previous game was its first away win of the season. Kerala has scored just 4 goals away from home. Only NorthEast United has scored less.
But now that most of his injured players are back to fitness, Schattorie will hope his side can grind out another away result.
The match will be streamed live on Hotstar and Star Sports network from 7.30 pm.