Kerala Blasters picked up their second victory in the 2020-21 season of Indian Super League (ISL) as they beat Jamshedpur FC 3-2 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco. With this win, they moved to the tenth position in the points table, bagging 9 points from 10 matches.
Kerala Blasters took the lead in the 22nd minute through Costa Nhamoinesu after the Zimbabwean flicked his header from a free-kick taken by Facundo Pereyra. In the 36th minute, Nerijus Valskis equalized for Jamshedpur FC through a scorching free-kick.
Jordan Murray scored in quick succession (79', 82') for Kerala Blasters to give them a two-goal cushion. Valskis pulled one back soon, but it turned out to be a mere consolation for Jamshedpur FC as no other goals were scored in the match.
Here are 4 things we learned.
#4 Jordan Murray makes up for missed chances with a brace
Kerala Blasters' Gary Hooper and Jordan Murray combined well upfront, but they missed some good chances early in the game. Hooper made a brilliant run in the midfield and laid the ball for Murray in the 12th minute. However, the latter skied his effort.
Four minutes later, Murray found himself through on the right flank after Jamshedpur FC defender Peter Hartley slipped. Murray fed a pass to Hooper, but the latter missed the one-on-one opportunity.
In the 45th minute, Hooper lobbed a cross for Murray to connect, but Jamshedpur FC goalkeeper Rehenesh TP made a point-blank save. Murray's efforts finally yielded a goal when he capitalized on a rebound following Facundo Pereyra's shot.
The third goal for Kerala Blasters was a gift as the ball slipped between the hands of Rehenesh, and Murray pushed the ball into the empty net.
#3 Kerala Blasters' defense remains a cause of concern
Kerala Blasters' coach Kibu Vicuna dropped Abdul Hakku and Nishu Kumar to bring Costa Nhamoinesu and Lalruatthara. Although Costa got a goal for his attacking efforts, his positioning in the backline was questionable.
Lalruatthara was also given the marching orders after he picked up two yellow cards in the game. He fouled Aitor Monroy outside the box through a clumsy challenge in the 49th minute and went into the book. Twenty-two minutes later, he caught Jackichand Singh by his abdomen and received another booking.
Sandeep Singh and Jessel Carneiro were decent for Kerala Blasters, but the team needs to buckle up behind.
#2 Nerijus Valskis is finally back to form
Nerijus Valskis fired blanks in the last three matches of Jamshedpur FC. Although coach Owen Coyle was pleased with his overall performance, goals eluded the Lithuanian.
Stepping up to take a free-kick from just outside the box, Valskis curled his shot above the wall and into the back of the net. Later in the match, Mobashir Rahman lobbed a high cross and Valskis towered above his marker to head the ball home.
The 2020 ISL Golden Boot winner now has 8 goals to his name this season. Valskis is only behind FC Goa's Igor Angulo, who has scored 9 times for his team.
#1 Jamshedpur FC denied by crossbar thrice
Jamshedpur FC played brilliantly throughout the game but walked away without a point. The Red Miners hit the woodwork three times.
Mohammed Mobashir crossed the ball from the left flank towards Aniket Jadhav in the 4th minute, but the latter's shot hit the upright. The misery continued for Jamshedpur FC in the 52nd minute as Mobashir's effort kissed the goalpost this time. Thirteen minutes later, Jackichand Singh hit the crossbar with his right-footed shot.
Jamshedpur FC were unlucky to not get a point as the frame of the goal denied them on three different occasions.Published 11 Jan 2021, 00:29 IST