Murray nets twice as ten-man Kerala beat Jamshedpur in five-goal thriller
Kerala Blasters FC picked up a much-needed win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 as they beat Jamshedpur FC 3-2 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Sunday. Costa Nhamoinesu put Kerala ahead in the first half but Nerijus Valskis equalised before the break. The second half witnessed Kerala demonstrate tremendous character after going down to 10 men following Lalruatthara’s send-off. Instead of feeling hard done by, the Blasters showed their resilience with two Jordan Murray goals. Valskis pulled one back for Jamshedpur but it wasn’t enough to deny Kerala the win.
- Costa Nhamoinesu gave Kerala the lead but Nerijus Valskis restored parity for Jamshedpur before halftime.
- Kerala fullback Lalruatthara was sent off in the 67th minute after receiving a second yellow card.
- The Blasters regained their lead after Jordan Murray scored twice in quick succession before Valskis pulled one back for Jamshedpur.
Jamshedpur nearly took the lead with just four minutes on the clock when a deflected Aniket Jadhav effort off a Mohammad Mobashir cutback from the left struck the frame of the goal. Kerala had a golden opportunity to go ahead in the 12th minute after Gary Hooper put Murray in on goal with a delightful pass behind Jamshedpur’s defence. Murray’s shot though failed to test the goalkeeper and flew over the crossbar.
The Blasters grew in confidence as the half wore on and looked more threatening going forward. Kerala’s next chance came in the 16th minute after a missed clearance by Peter Hartley released Murray down the right. The Australian found Hooper with a cross into the box, but the Englishman’s shot sailed over the target to the relief of Jamshedpur.
Kerala deservedly took the lead six minutes later courtesy of a well-worked set-piece. Facundo Pereyra put in an excellent freekick into the six-yard and Costa bravely got his head to the ball to find the back of the net and make it 1-0 for Kibu Vicuna’s men.
Jamshedpur responded with a well-executed corner in the 24th minute which Valskis headed towards goal only for Kerala’s goalkeeper Albino Gomes to pull off a stunning save. However, Valskis wasn’t going to be denied his goal 12 minutes later when he stepped up to take a freekick after Alexandre Lima was fouled in a threatening area near Kerala’s box.
The Lithuanian showed his class by nonchalantly getting the ball up and above the wall and beyond a diving Albino in goal to make it all square. Kerala could have retaken their lead in first half injury time when a Hooper cross from the right found Murray in the box. The Australian managed to keep his header on target from close range but Jamshedpur’s goalkeeper TP Rehenesh made a crucial save to ensure it was 1-1 at the break.
Jamshedpur began the second period well and Mobashir nearly put them in front when his shot from the edge of the box struck the post in the 52nd minute. They struck the woodwork again in the 65th minute when a Jackichand Singh shot from inside the box on the left hit the crossbar and ricocheted on to the post before being cleared away to safety.
Owen Coyle’s men seemed to receive a shot in the arm a couple of minutes later after the referee sent Lalruatthara for an early shower following a second yellow card. However, it was the Blasters that got the next goal after a half clearance by Jamshedpur was picked up by Pereyra near Jamshedpur’s box.
The Argentine ran with the ball into the box and got his shot away, which Rehenesh saved. The Jamshedpur goalkeeper’s save though fell into the path of Murray, who produced a clinical finish to reestablish Kerala’s lead in the 79th minute.
The Blasters then extended their advantage three minutes later after a lapse by Rehenesh at the back. The Jamshedpur goalkeeper came off his line to dive at Murray’s feet and collect the ball. However, instead of catching the ball, Rehenesh ended up parring the ball to Murray, who slotted into an empty net.
Jamshedpur to their credit weren’t about to go down without a fight and reduced the deficit after Valskis headed home a Mobashir cross from the right in the 84th minute. Stephen Eze then headed a cross from the left wide in the 88th minute and Jamshedpur threw everything forward in the dying moments of the game to no avail as Kerala hung on for the win.
Hero of the Match – Jordan Murray
Jordan Murray was a lively presence for Kerala and posed a constant threat to Jamshedpur’s defence. The Australian forward scored twice after the Blasters went down to 10 men in the second half and he could have easily had scored more on another night.
Other Match Awards
Club Award – Kerala Blasters FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Facundo Pereyra (Kerala Blasters FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: