ISL: Kerala Blasters outplay Jamshedpur FC, jump to third spot

KBFC regained the lead as Dimitrios Diamantakos took a successful penalty against JFC in Kochi | Photo: Special Arrangement

Kochi: Kerala Blasters outplayed Jamshedpur FC 3-1 to jump to third spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.

Blasters’ seventh win in their last eight games took them to 25 points from 12 outings. Jamshedpur, who suffered their ninth loss, remained in 10th place with just five points from 12 games.

Apostolos Giannou got KBFC an early lead against JFC during their match in Kochi ISL | Photo: Special Arrangement

Blasters were the dominant side, while the visitors looked threatening on the counter.

Blasters’ coach Ivan Vukomanovic started off with Apostolos Giannou partnering Dimitrios Diamantakos up front. The home side attacked from the kick-off and forced as many as three corner-kicks in the first four minutes. Adrian Luna’s attempt of the second one was somehow deflected away.

Blasters, though, did not have to wait long for the opening goal. Australian Giannou found the mark from close range in the ninth minute with Greek Diamantakos providing the assist.

However, Jamshedpur drew level against the run of play in the 17th minute. Prabhsukhan Singh Gill charged off the line to thwart Ishan Pandita but the rebound fell to Daniel Chukwu who shot home despite the best efforts of defender Mark Leskovic.

Blasters regained the lead as Diamantakos converted a penalty in the 31st minute after Boris Singh committed a handball.

Soon Giannou almost made it 3-1, but his attempt missed the target narrowly.

JFC was quick to draw level with KBFC thanks to the equaliser by Daniel Chukwu in Kochi ISL | Photo: Special Arrangement

Chukwu had a chance to find the equaliser for the second time, but the Nigerian shot wide.

Pandita squandered a golden chance to make it 2-2 shortly after resumption of play in the second half.

Sandeep Singh, who netted a late winner in Blasters’ last match against Odisha FC, let one rip on the hour mark, but Jamshedpur custodian Vishal Yadav was equal to the task.

Uruguayan talisman Adrian Luna proved his class by completing a well-crafted move in the 65th minute as Blasters gained a two-goal advantage.

They held onto it and pocketed three points, completing the double over Jamshedpur in the process.

Blasters next meet table-toppers Mumbai City FC in an away tie on Sunday.

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