Messi Bouli brace helps Kerala Blasters rescue a point against Jamshedpur
Kochi: Two late goals by Messi Bouli helped Kerala Blasters FC rescue a point against Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
Goals by Piti and CK Vineeth had given Jamshedpur a 2-0 lead but two goals by Messi Bouli resulted in the game ending 2-2. The result took Jamshedpur to 3rd on the Indian Super League Table (ISL) with 13 points from 8 games while Kerala moved to 7th with 7 points from 8 games.
Both teams were deployed in a 4-2-3-1 and started well. But TP Rehenesh almost conceded in the very first minute.
The Kerala keeper received a pass but tried to be cheeky. He waited for too long and was closed down by Piti. Rehenesh looked to clear but Piti stuck a leg out and got a touch on the ball. Luckily for the Kerala keeper, the ball went over for a goal kick.
From that moment, Jamshedpur were dominant. However, the first real chance fell to the hosts in the 4th minute and it was against the run of play.
Seityasen Singh took the ball off a Jamshedpur defender on the right-hand side. He got it on his left foot and curled in a delightful cross towards the centre. Mario Arques got in between two defenders and got his head to the ball. But he failed to make good contact and the ball went straight to keeper Subrata Paul.
The visitors continued their dominance with Piti pulling the strings in the midfield. Farukh Choudhary was making things happen in the final third in the absence of start striker Sergio Castel.
Jamshedpur were awarded a corner in the 37th minute. The ball was floated towards the far post where Tiri was pulled down by Vlatko Drobarov. The referee pointed to the spot and Kerala Blasters players could not believe what was happening. Replays showed that it was the right decision and it was a needless foul.
Piti stepped up, ran towards the ball, kept an eye on the keeper and after he dove to one side, the Spaniard lobbed it into the centre. A brilliant penalty taken with all the calmness in the world. The hosts were 1-0 down.
In the dying minutes of injury time after the regulation 45, Kerala had a penalty claim turned down.
Messi Bouli made a run in between two defenders. Sergio Cidoncha sent in a brilliant cross from the right. Bouli looked like he was pulled down from behind by Robin Gurung. The forward cannot believe as referee waved all the penalty claims away. It was time for a break.
The second half started with Jamshedpur happy to sit back and Blasters taking the game to the visitors. The hosts should have equalised in the 50th minute through Sergio Cidoncha but his shot was off target.
Jamshedpur FC scored completely against the run of play in the 71st minute. CK Vineeth, who came on for Piti in the 64th minute played a lovely one-two with Farukh Choudhary. The former Kerala Blasters forward got into the box. TP Rehenesh rushes out to close him down but leaves the slightest of gaps between him and the near post. Vineeth manages to slide the ball it through that gap and into the net. Vineeth did not celebrate but every other Jamshedpur player did.
It was 2-0 for Jamshedpur and the game looked over. However, Messi Bouli halved the deficit four minutes later.
Substitute Sahal Abdul Samad chipped the ball in from the right flank towards the far post. Bouli rises above the defender in front of him and heads it into the goal it was 2-1 in the 75th minute.
TP Rehenesh made a good save in the 83rd minute to keep the score at 2-1. Messi Bouli then wasted a chance in the next minute failing to convert a header. But the forward made up for it after Kerala won a penalty in the 86th minute.
Seityasen Singh broke into the box and Robin Gurung brought him down inside the penalty box with a harsh tackle. The referee is placed well to see it and immediately pointed to the spot.
Messi Bouli stepped up and Blasted the ball to the left of keeper Subrata Paul who guessed the right way but had no chance at all. The scores were level at 2-2 after 87 minutes. Kerala had the momentum but Jamshedpur held for a vital point.
Kerala Blasters manager Elco Schattorie would not be happy with the first half but will take a lot of positives from their fight back. Antonio Iriondo must be furious as his Jamshedpur team gave away a 2-0 lead in the last 20 minutes and could have returned home empty handed.