Bengaluru FC see off Jamshedpur FC to blow semi-final race wide open

Bengaluru FC came from behind to beat Jamshedpur FC 3-1 in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Athletic stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Saturday to blow the race for the semi-finals wide open.

Daniel Chima Chukwu (1’) scored for the second game running to give Jamshepdur FC a dream start but Bengaluru FC sromed back into the match with goals from Sunil Chhetri (55’) and Cleiton Silva (62’, 90+3’) to turn things around for the Blues who stretched their unbeaten run to nine matches.

With his goal, Chhetri drew level with Bartholomew Ogbeche on 49 Hero ISL goals to become the joint all-time top goalscorer in the league’s history.

The Blues though got off to the worst possible start as Chukwu showing off his predatory instincts latched onto a loose ball inside the box and tapped it past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to put Jamshedpur FC in front in the first minute.

Bengaluru FC responded well to the early setback and went close through Danish Farooq who pulled his shot wide from the edge of the box in the sixth minute.

As the first half progressed both teams pretty much cancelled each other out as there were very few chances for either side until the 42nd minute when a Roshan Naorem corner found Chhetri at the far post. The BFC captain who rose the highest put his header wide much to his disappointment.

Jamshedpur FC went into the break leading through the early goal from Chukwu.

Marco Pezzaiuoli brought on Rohit Kumar for Suresh Singh Wangjam for the second half but it was Jamshepdur FC who created the first opening. Alex Lima and Greg Stewart combined well to open space for a shot for the former but his effort was blocked by Alan Costa. However, the rebound almost fell to Chukwu before Parag Srivas crucially intervened.

Chhetri then equalised at the other end in the 55th minute as he poked home from close range after a Pratik Chaudhari header from a long throw-in took a deflectection off Bruno Ramirez to fall kindly for him who made no mistake from six yards out.

The Blues then took the lead after Silva headed home an inswinging corner from Roshan Naorem in the 62nd minute to make it 2-1 for the Blues.

Read: Bengaluru FC’s Roshan Naorem wins the Emerging Player of the Month award for January 2022

Jamshedpur FC immediately threw on Ishan Pandita to rescue the match and they nearly did that in the 80th minute when Stewart after an excellent combination play Chukwu went through on goal but his dinked effort that seemed destined for the back of the net was cleared off the line by Srivas.

Owen Coyle’s men pushed for the equaliser but it was Silva who secured the points for Bengaluru FC with a third goal on the counter-attack.

The win lifted Bengaluru FC to third place level on points with second-placed Kerala Blasters FC having played two games more. Jamshedpur FC though remained in fourth position after just their third defeat of the season.

Coyle’s men next face Kerala Blasters FC on Thursday in another vital game for semi-final qualification. The Blues take on league leaders Hyderabad FC a day later.

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