ISL: Murray brace sets up Blasters' thrilling win over JFC

Jordan Murray ensured three points for Kerala Blasters. Photo: ISL

Vasco (Goa): Ten-man Kerala Blasters put up an inspired show to register their second win of the season as they edged out Jamshedpur FC 3-2 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, here on Sunday.

Blasters took the lead early through Costa Nhamoinesu (22') but his opener was neutralised by Nerijus Valskis (36') before the break. The Jamshedpur striker netted once again in the second half (84') but it only came after Jordan Murray's brace (79', 82') which helped Blasters to seal the game.

Blasters are in 10th place in the 11-team competition with nine points from 10 games, while Jamshedpur remain in fifth with 13 points from 10 matches.

Both sides went into the break locked in a stalemate, after testing each other and creating a flurry of chances in the first half. Jamshedpur started strong and should have bagged the lead as early as the fourth minute after some delightful build-up play. Valskis did well to hold the ball and found Mobashir Rahman, whose cross found Jadhav. But the youngster's effort deflected off the post.

Kerala Blasters' Facundo Pereyra in action against JFC. Photo: ISL

Seven minutes later, Blasters fashioned a gilt-edged opportunity which was the best chance of the opening half. Gary Hooper put Murray through on goal with a decisive pass that split open the Jamshedpur backline. But with only the keeper to beat, the Australian skewed his shot over the bar.

However, Blasters soon made amends for the early miss as they broke the deadlock from a set-piece. Facundo Pereyra swung a delightful cross in the box for Costa, who got ahead of Jamshedpur keeper TP Rehenesh and headed home.

Jamshedpur rallied back soon after conceding and would go on to restore parity from a set-piece after Lalruatthara fouled Alexandre Lima in a dangerous area outside the box. Valskis curled his free-kick over the wall and into the top bottom corner past Blasters custodian Albino Gomes, ending his three-match goalless streak.

Jamshedpur dominated proceedings after the restart, making constant raids into the opposition box but couldn't find a way. The best chances fell for Jackichand Singh, who struck the woodwork twice.
Blasters suffered a big blow just after the hour mark after Lalruatthara was shown a second yellow card for a rash tackle.

But despite being a man down, two defensive errors from Jamshedpur helped Blasters gain an advantage. They took the lead from a set-piece. After Jessel Carneiro's throw-in was cleared away poorly by Stephen Eze, Pereyra won the ball and tested Rehnesh from close range. The ball fell to Murray on the rebound and he scored a tap-in.

A blunder from Rehenesh three minutes later allowed Murray to score again, seeing the shoulders drop in the Jamshedpur dugout.

Valskis got on the scoresheet again to revive Jamshedpur's hopes of a comeback. The striker buried his header into the net from Mobashir's cross to cut short his side's deficit. But in the end, his goal came a little too late as Blasters went home with the three points. 

Valskis' brace was not enough to save the day for JFC. Photo: ISL

Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC played out a goalless draw in the early kick-off.

(With inputs from ISL Media)

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