Ten-man Kerala Blasters put up an inspired show to register their second win of the season as they beat aside Jamshedpur FC 3-2 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco on Sunday.
Kerala took the lead early through Costa Nhamoinesu (22') before Nerijus Valskis (36') equalised before the break. The Jamshedpur striker netted once again in the second half (84') but it only came after Jordan Murray's brace (79', 82').
The first half ended 1-1, with both sides seeing plenty of chances. Jamshedpur started strong and should have bagged the lead as early as the 4th minute after some delightful build-up play. Valskis did well to hold the ball and found Mobashir Rahman, whose cross found Aniket Jadhav. But the youngster's effort deflected off the post.
Seven minutes later, Kerala fashioned a gilt-edged opportunity which was the best chance of the opening half. Gary Hooper put Murray through on goal with a decisive pass that split open the Jamshedpur backline. But with only the keeper to beat, the Australian smashed his shot over the bar.
However, Kerala soon made amends for the early miss as they broke the deadlock from a set-piece. Facundo Pereyra swung in a lovely cross in the box for Costa, who got ahead of Jamshedpur keeper TP Rehenesh and headed home.
Jamshedpur rallied back soon after conceding and would go on to restore parity from a set-piece after Lalruatthara fouled Alexandre Lima in a dangerous area outside the box. Valskis curled his free-kick over the wall and past Kerala custodian Albino Gomes, ending his three-match goalless streak.
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Jamshedpur dominated proceedings after the restart, making constant raids into the opposition box but couldn't find a way. The best chances fell for Jackichand Singh, who struck the woodwork twice. Kerala were reduced to ten men just after the hour mark after Lalruatthara was shown a second yellow card for a tackle on Lima.
But despite being a man down, two defensive errors from Jamshedpur helped Kerala gain an advantage. After Stephen Eze cleared Jessel Carneiro's throw-in away poorly, Pereyra won the ball and tested Rehnesh from close range. The ball fell to Murray on the rebound and he scored a tap-in. A blunder from Rehenesh three minutes later allowed Murray to score again.
Valskis got on the scoresheet again to revive Jamshedpur's hopes of a comeback. The striker buried his header into the net from Mobashir's cross to cut short his side's deficit. But in the end, his goal came a little too late as Kerala went home with the three points.
The result means Jamshedpur stay in fifth, two points off the playoff places, while Kerala Blasters rise from the bottom of the table to go 10th, a point behind East Bengal. Jamshedpur play Goa next in the 14th, Kerala have a crunch match vs East Bengal on the 15th.