Jamshedpur FC has been very much the team to beat this season. If there is one team that has the resources to stop it, it is Kerala Blasters.
These two exciting sides, both boasting some of the finest attacking talents in the Indian Super League (ISL), come face-to-face at Fatorda’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday. There is plenty to look forward to in the first leg of the first semifinal in India’s top football league.
Jameshedpur, playing its first-ever semifinal, will start the favourite, having finished on top of the league table with 43 points and 13 wins. The points it scored is an ISL record; it is the highest by a team for a season.
Owen Coyle’s boys will be hoping to continue with their great run. In Greg Stewart, one of the best players in the ISL this season with 10 goals and as many assists from 19 games, and Daniel Chima Chukwu, who has been sensational having scored seven goals from nine games after getting transferred from SC East Bengal, they have two men at the top of their game.
They certainly pose serious threats to any defence. But, then, so could the formidable foursome of Blasters, in the form of the gifted Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez, Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Sahal Abdul Samad.
Jameshdpur will be particularly wary of Luna. The Uruguayan midfielder has been a delight to watch, be it in set pieces or the way he plots his team’s attack.
After the first leg, the teams will return for the second on March 15.
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