The Kerala Blasters began the New Year in fine fashion, thrashing Jamshedpur FC 3-1 in the Indian Super League at the Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday. The victory, its seventh from eight matches, saw the Blasters climb over ATK Mohun Bagan and move to the third spot in the 11-team table.
Jamshedpur has had a miserable season so far and the Blasters made the most of it, coming up with waves of attack. Defender Jessel Carneiro frequently broke through the left and fed Sahal Samad and playmaker Adrian Luna.
The home side waltzed through the Jamshedpur defence frequently and took the lead in the ninth minute. Greek forward Dimitrios Diamantakos moved in through the left and sent a cross to Australian Apostolos Giannou, who tapped it in.
Jamshedpur’s equaliser came eight minutes later. As Nigerian forward Daniel Chukwu sent a goal-bound long-ranger from the left, goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill rushed out leaving the cage open. As the ball floated over him, defender Marko Leskovic desperately flung himself on the ball and it deflected off his legs and went into the goal. But it was officially awarded to Chukwu.
The Blasters regained the lead shortly after the half-hour mark through a penalty, neatly converted by Diamantakos, after a Boris Singh handball.
The Blasters’ third goal was a thing of beauty. Luna, who looked impressive all through with his neat passes and crosses, had a nice set of one-twos with Diamantakos and Giannou before moving to the centre of the box and sending home a perfect shot.
Kerala Blasters 3 (Apostolos Giannou 9, Diamantakos 31-p, Adrian Luna 65) bt Jamshedpur FC 1 (Daniel Chukwu 17).