Jamshedpur FC have seven draws, one more than Kerala Blasters, this season in the Indian Super League (ISL). However, Jamshedpur have lost just the one game while Kerala Blasters have lost three. It was no surprise to see both the teams play out yet another draw on Tuesday.
However, Tuesday's 0-0 draw has thrown light on Jamshedpur FC's absolute inability to close out games. And much of that has been down to their poor defending.
Subrata Paul was shaky at the back and the former India custodian made numerous mistakes. He couldn’t collect crosses and looked susceptible while going for high balls into the box. The defence also did not look solid on the night, given the amount of chance Kerala Blasters created. Cesar Ferrando continued his merry go around at the back with lots of chopping and changing. Memo was fielded as the centre-back in the first half and as a consequence, they looked brittle in the middle of the park.
Jamshedpur have shot themselves in the foot for not having signed one more foreign centre-back alongside Tiri. They keep changing the centre-back partners for Tiri and the result is that they look disorganized at the back. It took some last-ditch defending from Memo and Bikash Jairu which denied Kerala on at least a couple of occasions.
One also has to question Ferrando for being defiant and blaming the media for pointing out that Carlos Calvo is fast building a reputation for going down under the slightest or at times no pressure at all. The 33-year-old winger went down without any contact from Cyril Kali on one occasion and managed to con the referee in awarding a free-kick.
“In the last match, I heard some journalist complaining about Calvo. Journalists talk a lot but before they need to think about (what happened). Calvo went down and it was a foul,” said Ferrando after the game.
In fact, it’s time for Ferrando to take stock of the situation and go through the match footage before putting the blame on media. The former Atletico Madrid coach needs to introspect and look at issues within their own club (read Gourav Mukhi case) rather than passing the buck to the media at the slightest critical comment.
For once David James can go relieved that at least his team showed the hunger and passion which was missing from their game. It would be fair to state that Jamshedpur FC were second best for most periods of the match and were lucky that they got an opportunity to take the lead through a penalty.
Now the incident to award the penalty itself was wrong as the contact or the foul committed by Dheeraj Moirangthem was outside the box. The referee, after consulting the linesman, gave a spot-kick and brandished a yellow card for Moirangthem.
The correct decision should have been to award a free-kick to the visitors and possibly hand a red card to Moirangthem as he clearly blocked Tim Cahill who was the last man.
Though the crowd in Kochi was extremely poor, given the supporters' ire at the team's performances, there was no lack of intent from the Blasters. In fact, if not for poor finishing from the likes of Len Doungel and Sahal Abdul Samad, Kerala could have won the match handsomely.
But for now, all these draws have almost put paid to their play-off hopes while Jamshedpur FC have made things difficult for themselves. They are a point behind Mumbai City who sit fourth. However, Mumbai has two games in hand over Jamshedpur.