Bengaluru, Jamshedpur share spoils in dramatic thriller
The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 witnessed an enthralling encounter just before entering the first international break of the season, as Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
- Nishu Kumar opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time with a brilliantly taken half-volley.
- Gourav Mukhi scored Jamshedpur’s first equaliser in the 81st minute, his maiden goal in the Hero ISL.
- Sunil Chhetri thought he had sealed the tie in the 88th minute with a fine header, but Sergio Cidoncha marked off a frantic last quarter with an injury-time equaliser.
The match started on a cagey note with the majority of the action taking place in midfield. The first real chance of the half fell to the hosts in the 13th minute. Miku played a well-timed ball, releasing Udanta Singh on the right flank. The winger had acres of space to run in towards goal, but his resulting cross was poorly placed and failed to find anybody in a Bengaluru shirt.
The rest of the half was fairly tame with neither side able to create any noteworthy chances. With both teams destined to enter the break all square, the Blues took the lead right at the death. A lofted ball from Xisco Hernandez was cleared by Tiri on to the path of Nishu Kumar. The young defender chested the ball before smashing it on the volley, past a hapless Subhasish Roy in goal to ensure Bengaluru entered the break with a 1-0 lead.
A few minutes into the second half, the hosts almost doubled their lead when Chhetri found himself in space at the edge of the box. The forward took one touch before drilling the ball with his left foot, but narrowly missing the far post. Jamshedpur slowly started stamping their authority on the match. A brilliant long-distance effort from Mobashir Rahman seemed destined for the top corner, but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu produced an acrobatic stop to deny him.
As the half wore on, Jamshedpur started piling up the pressure upfront and grabbed the all-important equaliser, with 10 minutes to go. Substitute Mukhi, who was put through on goal, beat the offside trap to finish exquisitely past Singh into the bottom corner.
As the Blues seemed destined to drop two crucial points at home, up stepped ‘Captain Fantastic’ Chhetri. Harmanjot Khabra delivered an inch-perfect long ball from near the halfway line and Chhetri did magnificently well to leap above his defender before burying his header into the bottom corner. The 34-year-old could have bagged a brace in injury-time when set up by Miku, but his shot, unfortunately, struck the far post before going out for a goal-kick.
Chhetri would go on to rue that missed chance a couple of minutes later when Jamshedpur equalised for the second time. Mario Arques found himself free in space down the right-hand side of the penalty box. His cut-back found Sergio Cidoncha who calmly slotted the ball into the far corner, marking a magnificent end to a truly dramatic second half.
HERO OF THE MATCH
Despite his team not bagging all three points, Nishu Kumar had a night to remember. The defender got the ball rolling with a truly stunning effort in the first half, which marked his first Hero ISL goal. The youngster put in a decent shift at the back as well, thwarting the likes of Tim Cahill and Jerry Mawhmingthanga, and will take heart from his display going forward.
Club Award – Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC
Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Yumnam Raju
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Harmanjot Khabra
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Gourav Mukhi
Hero of the Match – Nishu Kumar
The Blues will travel to Pune to face the Stallions next on October 22, while Jamshedpur play their first home fixture of the season against two-time champions ATK on October 21.
Visit our videos section to view the match highlights and the photos section for exclusive images from the match.