Rachubka to the rescue as Kerala hold Jamshedpur for another goalless draw

Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC both played their second successive goalless draw of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday. Blasters' keeper Paul Rachubka came up with two heroic moments in the match to ensure Jamshedpur's search for a first Hero ISL win continues.

The match started slowly as both teams tried to build attacks, but were limited to speculative shots from distance instead. Kerala had the first real sniff of goal in the 10th minute when CK Vineeth’s delightful cross from the right was met by an Iain Hume header that was off target.

Six minutes later they fashioned an even better chance, this time from Lalruatthara’s cross from the left. Dimitar Berbatov got on to the end of this one with a first-time volley, but Jamshedpur custodian Subrata Paul saved it with ease.

However, it was the visitors who probably should have taken the lead near the half hour mark. Memo’s freekick was met with a smart, diving stop from Paul Rachubka, who was at hand once more to make a second save to deny Jerry Mawhmingthanga’s effort from the rebound.

The second half got underway with both teams being cautious in their approach, and rarely threatening to trouble the score line. Jamshedpur had a chance in the 75th minute, but substitute Farukh Choudhary’s volley was comfortably dealt with by Rachubka.

Three minutes later, Kerala’s Courage Pekuson went on a run down the middle and hammered a shot that flashed dangerously wide much to the relief of a fully-stretched Paul. Jamshedpur must have thought they had taken the lead in the first minute of stoppage time. Kerala custodian Rachubka though was at it again and made a stunning point-blank save from Kervens Belfort’s header following a cross from the right.

That was the last piece of action which means that both sides have now started their campaigns with the same score line from their first two fixtures.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award: Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC

Moment of the match: Sandesh Jhingan

Winning pass of the match: Iain Hume

Fittest player: Kervens Belfort

Emerging player: Lalruatthara

Hero of the match: Mehtab Hossain

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