Defensive blunders help Jamshedpur FC beat Kerala Blasters 3-0 at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim in the ongoing Indian Super League on Thursday.
The Miners are one point behind the table-toppers Hyderabad FC. Greg Stewart scored twice from the penalty spot. Daniel Chima Chukwu scored in his third successive game to seal the game for Jamshedpur.
Jamshedpur FC registered their seventh victory in 14 matches and has 25 points in second place. The Kerala Blasters suffered their third defeat of the season. They have 23 points and have slipped to fifth place.
Kerala's defensive blunders
Towards the end of a goalless first half, Jamshedpur FC broke the deadlock the Greg Stewart's penalty. Tuskers defender Denechandram brought down Stewart, who slotted the ball in the right corner to put the Miners ahead. Minutes into the second half, another defensive blunder by Kerala resulted in the second penalty of the game. This time Boris Singh is brought down inside the box by Marko Leskovic. Stewart once again stepped up and a panenka to double the Jamshedpur lead.
Five minutes later, Daniel Chima Chukwu hit the final blow as he sent Boris' low cross in the back of the net with a half-volley. Chima has scored five goals in the 2021-22 season. Tuskers midfielder Ritwik Das then tried to pull one back with a hail-mary, seeing Miners' keeper out of his line. Das' attempt went onto the roof of the goal as Jamshedpur FC won the game 3-0.
Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle was elated by his team's performance against the Kerala Blasters. He talked about how the penalities were the major turning point alongside great individual performances. He said, "Well obviously, they’re penalties. It’s like the London bus, you wait for one and another one comes in right after, you wait for one and two come together and that’s what happened tonight. Greg [Stewart], Boris [Singh], everyone was outstanding. Greg is certainly the best player in the league.
I’ve said it from the beginning, Daniel Chima is a wonderful player, not because he scores goals but what he brings to the team. The touch, the kick, everything was brilliant from the lad tonight.
We scored three and could’ve scored more than that and of course, I’ve got to say, we’ve won against a very good Kerala side who I believe will be in the top four. They’ve got an outstanding coach, very good players, and Kerala are a tough nut for anybody to crack."
Coyle then reflected on the team's bounce back after their defeat against Bengaluru FC. He said, "Yes, we’re working hard, and there’s still more work to do ahead of us. We’ve learned our mistakes from the Bengaluru game, and what was important is that we learnt to rebound quickly. There is pure spirit and camaraderie when you’re winning, but the truth is when you have a difficult moment when you lose a game, you have to bounce back, and we showed that tonight. From the first minute till the last, the boys were outstanding tonight."