ISL 2018-19: Controversial penalty helps Jamshedpur FC hold Kerala Blasters
Both teams have had the most number of draws this season, Tuesday night in Kochi was no different...
Kerala Blasters failed to bring their winless run to a halt but put on a spirited show against Jamshedpur in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday at the JLN Stadium in Kochi.

A foul on Tim Cahill outside the box was punished with a spot-kick that Carlos Calvo scored. Seiminlen Doungel equalised to help his team to a point from an engaging contest.

Both coaches made three changes to their starting lineups. Sandesh Jhingan and Seiminlen Doungel returned to the first team and Slavisa Stojanovic recovered from his injury in time to start. Nikola Krcmarevic missed out due to an injury.

For Jamshedpur, Tim Cahill started for the first time after his farewell game for Australia national team. While Pablo Morgado was rested, young midfielder Mobashir Rahman and  Malsawmzuala earned starts.

The visitors dominated possession right from the off but were dealt an early blow when Soosairaj picked up a knock and had to be replaced.

Anas Edathodika Tim Cahill Kerala Blasters Jamshedpur FC ISL 5

Blasters were set up to hit Jamshedpur on the counter and the plan worked in the first half.

In the 21st minute, Keziron Kizito’s lung-busting run from the halfway line had the Jamshedpur defence in disarray. The Ugandan midfielder failed to get a show away in time but the loose ball fell kindly for Sahal whose first-time effort was denied by the crossbar.

Both sides went close after the half-hour mark. Malsawmzuala picked Zakeer’s pocked and released Jerry into space inside the box. The nimble-footed winger had the just the keeper to beat but Dheeraj saved with the tip of his leg.

The hosts threatened from the resulting corner when Sahal picked out Narzary’s run down the right flank with a stupendous through-ball. The Indian winger’s cross into the box wasn’t properly cleared and the loose ball was directed towards goal by Seiminlen Doungel but a goal-line clearance by Memo kept the scoreline unchanged.

Carlos Calvo Kerala Blasters Jamshedpur FC ISL 5

Jamshedpur struggled to carve out clear openings even after the break and Blasters kept ringing the alarm bells at the other end.

In the 61st minute, the first-time cross by Sandesh Jhingan from the right flank found Stojanovic with his back to goal. The striker controlled the ball, turned and skied a glorious chance.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play five minutes later. Carlos Calvo played a delightful ball over the top for Tim Cahill to chase. The Socceroos striker was brought down by Dheeraj Singh outside the box but the referee pointed to the spot. Calvo stepped up and converted from 12 yards.

Blasters’ response was immediate. The home side picked up their pace and intensity in the final third and their efforts bore fruit in the 77th minute. Sahal headed Zakeer’s corner into the box for Stojanovic who flicked it across the face of goal. Tiri and Bikash Jairu failed to deal with it and Doungel pounced, pulling the hosts level.

The match became an end-to-end affair towards the end but a match-winning goal remained elusive.

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