Messi’s brace helps salvage a draw for Kerala against Jamshedpur

Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC played out an exhilarating 2-2 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday. Piti gave Jamshedpur the lead from the spot, while CK Vineeth doubled their advantage after halftime. However, two goals from Messi Bouli in the space of 12 minutes in the second period meant that the teams had to share the spoils.  

  • Piti gave Jamshedpur the lead seven minutes before halftime.
  • CK Vineeth came off bench to double the lead for Jamshedpur.
  • Kerala reduced the deficit through a Messi Bouli goal.
  • Messi Bouli then converted from the spot to make it all square.

The hosts had the first opportunity of the match in the 4th minute when Seityasen Singh delivered a well-measured cross from the right. Mario Arques got his head to the ball but couldn’t generate enough power on it to beat the goalkeeper.

Messi Bouli had Kerala’s next chance on goal four minutes later, however, his effort failed to test the goalkeeper. Jamshedpur’s first real sight at goal came in the 23rd minute when Narender Gahlot whipped in a wicked low cross from the left. Farukh Choudhary’s outstretched foot, though, wasn’t enough to put the ball in the back of the net to the relief of the home fans.

The visitors began to see more of the ball as the half progressed and they went in front in the 38th minute. Vlatko Drobarov was adjudged to have grabbed a shirt in the box while defending a corner and the referee deemed it to be a penalty. Piti, on his return from injury, stepped up to the spot and converted in nonchalant fashion to make it 1-0 for Jamshedpur. Messi had a chance to score an equaliser just before halftime, but he couldn’t direct his shot goalwards as Jamshedpur went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Kerala began the second period with purpose and intent, and they were nearly rewarded with an equaliser early in the half when a cross from the right found its way to Sergio Cidoncha. Unfortunately for his teammates and fans, despite having space and time to spare, the Spaniard ended up dragging his attempt wide of the target.

Cidoncha also came close to levelling the score in the 67th minute but his header on goal went just above the crossbar. Messi had a shot on goal soon after having been played through on goal, however, Subrata Paul was quick off his line to make a save. Subrata was called into action moments later and this time he parried away a stinging volley by Cidoncha from the edge of the box.

The Blasters’ failure to make the most of their chances came back to haunt them in the 71st minute when former Kerala man, Vineeth played a brilliant one-two with Choudhary before beating the goalkeeper at his near post to make it 2-0.

Kerala struck back four minutes later, and it was Messi that got on the scoresheet for the hosts. A perfectly delivered ball at the far post by Sahal Abdul Samad was met with an emphatic header from Messi to half the deficit and set up a nervy finish for the visitors.

With their tails up after the goal, Kerala pushed hard for an equaliser and were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute. Messi was entrusted with the responsibility of taking the penalty and he made no mistake in burying the ball into the net to make it 2-2.

Kerala went in search of a winner with the crowd and momentum firmly behind them. However, Jamshedpur regrouped and held firm to secure a hard-fought point. 

Hero of the Match – Messi Bouli

The Cameroonian striker enjoyed his best outing in Hero ISL 2019-20 yet. He was a constant menace to Jamshedpur and scored the two goals with Kerala trailing to earn them a deserved point.  

AWARDS

Club Award – Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – CK Vineeth

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Farukh Choudhary

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Sahal Abdul Samad

Hero of the Match – Messi Bouli

Watch the match highlights here:

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