FULL-TIME: Jamshedpur FC 5-1 Bengaluru FC
Jamshedpur FC: 45+2′ A. Fernandes; 54′ M. Soosairaj (Assist: Memo); 56′ Pablo Morgado (Header, Assist: Carlos Calvo); 57′ Pablo Morgado (Jerry M.); 61′ Carlos Calvo.
Bengaluru FC: 16′ S. Haokip (Assist: Xisco Hernandez); 68′ RED CARD (Gursimrat Singh, Second Yellow).
A strong second half performance by Jamshedpur FC was enough to put the Bengaluru FC colts to the sword at the Furnace tonight.
Carles Cuadrat made sweeping changes to the starting XI with youngsters from the squad and the reserve team given a chance to make an impression. Xisco Hernandez and Luisma were the only foreign players on the pitch for Bengaluru and they named only four substitutes on the bench.
The young new-look side started the game well and were full of energy around the pitch. They got themselves a goal in the 16th minute after some lax defending by Jamshedpur’s Augustin Fernandes. A simple ball from Xisco found its way into the opponent’s box. Augustin was lethargic following up on the ball and it looked like he was expecting the keeper Subrata Pal to lap it up – but instead the Bengaluru FC forward Semboi Haokip pounced on the loose ball and smashed it in.
The Blues had a chance to make it 2-0 in the 25th minute after Lalrindika was brought down by Tiri in the box. However, Xisco’s weak attempt from the ensuing penalty was saved by Subrata Pal.
After going a goal down, Jamshedpur turned up in the game and started keeping possession better. However, they were not able to get behind the Blues’ defence and for most of the first half, it looked like familiar failings for the Red Miners.
But a defensive error by the Bengaluru side in first half stoppage time got Jamshedpur back into the game. Soram Poirei exaggerated his jump over a routine loose ball in the box and managed to spill it. Augustin Fernandes got on the ball and managed to finish into an empty net at a tight angle to bring the scores level and redeem himself for his earlier error.
Michael Soosairaj who had a sighter in the first half got on the score sheet to put Jamshedpur in the lead. With Bengaluru playing three at the back, Jamshedpur stomped their authority in the game by utilising spaces in the wide areas and by using the diagonal ball well.
Memo’s pass from midfield was on the path of Soosairaj who sidestepped to make himself some space in the box and put a beautiful curler into the back of the net.
After taking the lead, Jamshedpur would go on to score three goals in five minutes to put the game to rest. Carlos Calvo’s cross from the right flank was expertly met by Morgado who was completely unmarked and scored with the easiest of headers. It was a repeat and rinse situation for the next goal which followed a minute later. A diagonal ball from Carlos Calvo landed at Jerry’s feet on the right flank. A first time through ball across the goal was met by Pablo Morgado who had time and space to slot the ball and get his second goal of the night.
Carlos Calvo’s distribution was excellent tonight. Afforded time and space he wrecked havoc on the Bengaluru defence. The Spaniard was the top creator tonight and is second on the top creator xG leaderboard behind Coro this season. He got on the score sheet after he converted a free kick from the edge of the box to make it 5-1 for the Red Miners.
Bengaluru FC were completely taken apart in the second half and they will rue the missed penalty in the first half which could’ve changed the game in their favour. Jamshedpur after a rusty first half reestablished the gulf in class with a scintillating second half display.
With the win, Jamshedpur FC will finish fifth this year – the same as last season.