Kerala Blasters FC played host to Jamshedpur FC in the second-leg of the semi-final between the two sides in the Indian Super League (ISL). The match took place at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Tuesday.
The Yellow Tuskers had one foot in the final after edging past the Red Miners courtesy of a Sahal Abdul Samad goal in the first leg. However, the goalscorer was out of the second leg after pulling a muscle in training.
Owen Coyle and his players were determined to overturn the deficit in their hopes for a double. Ivan Vukomanovic wasn't too behind after the Serbian addressed the game as a fresh encounter between the two semi-finalists.
Kerala Blasters FC were way ahead of their opponents in the opening minutes and were close to building on their lead from the first-leg. Alvaro Vasquez had a clear opening on goal. Jamshedpur FC custodian TP Rehenesh rushed to narrow the angle. Vasquez eventually got his angles wrong when he chipped it over the goalie's head. A clear chance on goal went begging for the Blasters.
Moments later, Ayush Adhikari had an opening as well but his strike was blocked by Peter Hartley.
Adrian Luna then turned hero for the Blasters in the 18th minute. The midfielder received a pass from Vasquez and ran towards goal. He dodged a defender and then opened up his body to aim towards the bottom corner of the goal. TP Rehenesh was helpless against the strike.
The Yellow Tuskers were well ahead on aggregate while the Men of Steel were under pressure. Soon afterwards, Owen Coyle had to bring on PC Laldinpuia to replace the injured Laldinliana Renthlei.
The Men of Steel had a tough task as they felt the pressure even more when certain decisions were not going their way. Coyle expressed his frustrations from the sidelines and picked up a booking in the process.
Jamshedpur FC's goal not enough to stop Kerala Blasters FC from marching into ISL 2021-22 final
Jamshedpur FC started the second half positively. Their approach provided them with some relief after Pronay Halder converted from a Greg Stewart free-kick.
But minutes later, Alvaro Vasquez had another chance which was similar to that in the first half. TP Rehenesh got his hands on the ball but did not grip it and the ball fell onto the path of the retreating Eli Sabia. The centre-back managed to clear the danger.
Kerala Blasters FC head coach brought on Jeakson Singh and Rahul KP in place of Ayush Adhikari and Nishu Kumar.
The Yellow Tuskers were tireless on the night against the physically imposing Jamshedpur FC. Adrian Luna was almost everywhere on the pitch. He not only initiated attacks, but also working alongside his teammates to double-up on Greg Stewart.
At the other end, Ishan Pandita had the easiest opportunity to score a goal that would get them back into the game. Unfortunately for him, his attempt went straight into the hands of Prabhsukhan Gill. The scoreline remained stagnant after the final whistle, with the Yellow Tuskers marching into the final on Sunday.