Kochi: Adrian Luna’s goal helped Kerala Blasters FC register a 1-0 victory over Jamshedpur FC in a thrilling Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here on Sunday. With this win, Blasters have accumulated six points from their two matches.
In the 74th minute, Mohammed Aimen initiated the winning move from the right wing by finding Luna inside the Jamshedpur penalty box with a precise pass. Luna deftly redirected it to Dimitrios Diamantakos, who had come on as a substitute for Kwame Peprah. Diamantakos tapped it back to Luna, catching everyone, including Jamshedpur custodian Rehenesh T P, off guard. Luna calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner, sending the capacity crowd into frenzy.
Before Luna's moment of brilliance, Blasters' performance had been marred by errant passes and shots that lacked conviction. This would remain a concern for the Kerala side which heads to Mumbai for their next match on October 8.
Blasters goalkeeper Sachin Suresh made crucial saves to deny Jamshedpur's Daniel Chima and Nongdamba Naorem multiple times in the second half.
After the half-time break, Jamshedpur emerged as a side rejuvenated, relentlessly pounding on Blasters' door. The second half began with a bang as Alen Stevanovic broke free from the Blasters defenders to receive an open ball from the centre, but his shot was off target. Moments later, Jamshedpur found themselves in a scramble inside the Blasters box, with Daniel Chima attempting a shot. In response, Blasters' attacks within Jamshedpur's penalty area lacked conviction.
Blasters opened the game displaying tremendous energy, dominating the field and applying pressure on Jamshedpur. Their first significant opportunity came in the 10th minute when Luna attempted to chip the ball into Jamshedpur's goal from outside the penalty area, but the shot sailed over the crossbar. Luna came close again later with a bending kick from the left wing that narrowly missed the far post.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Jamshedpur was forced to make their first substitution as early as the 14th minute when Imran Khan suffered an injury after a collision in their defensive area. He was replaced by Ricky Lallawmawma.
Despite Blasters' loose passes that allowed Jamshedpur to regroup quickly post the substitution, their defence, led by Milos Drincic, remained steadfast and thwarted Jamshedpur's attacking efforts.
Blasters defenders displayed a resolute performance compared to their last game, effectively intercepting and blocking, which caused frustration among the Jamshedpur players. This frustration ultimately led to their forward Seiminlen Doungel receiving a booking for a contentious foul.
With just one point from two games, Jamshedpur will return home to host Hyderabad FC on Thursday.