Kerala Blasters made an astonishing comeback from 2-0 to draw levels with Jamshedpur FC at Kochi. With the stalemate, Blasters move to seventh while Jamshedpur are third in the Indian Super League points table.
Jamshedpur FC secured the lead in the first half when Piti converted from the spot following Vlatkor Drobarov’s foul inside the box. Though the visitors doubled their advantage with CK Vinneth's strike in the second half, Blasters responded through Messi Bouli, four minutes later. The crucial equalizer came through the Cameronian forward as he beat Subrata Paul from a penalty in the 87th minute.
Mario Arques, who had been sidelined with an injury after playing 27 minutes in the first game, returned to the lineup for Eelco Schattorie. The midfielder spoke about the result, his comeback and understanding with the teammates, after the game.
"I worked really hard to stay fit. This is my first game since a lot of time. I feel very good and the team worked very hard too. We have to know each other more; they are very good players and we understand each other on the field."
The former Jamshedpur FC player admitted that it was a difficult situation, being two goals down, but praised the team's morale to fight until the end.
"Yes, it was very difficult after being two goals down. For us it is very important because we showed that the team can fight until the end."
After a disappointing first half, Schattorie got his tactics right as all three of his substitutions shined on the field. Sahal Abdul Samad, in particular, came off the bench to open the way for Messi Bouli's first goal. The India international impressed by creating a total of four chances in 36 minutes. Sharing his views on the game, Sahal said,
"Though I started on the bench, the coach had asked me to prepare to come on to the field. I was prepared to play. I got a confidence when I started my game. Everyone worked hard and we made a comeback from 2-0. All of us are happy but still we missed the win. The team is performing well."
The 22-year old also heaped praise on Messi Bouli who managed to score twice to take the team out of trouble.
"He is a hard-worker. All of us can see that on the field. He is showing the result by scoring."