Jamshedpur rally to hold BFC

Jamshedpur rally to hold BFC

Jamshedpur FC’s Mohammad Mobasshir (left) halts Bengaluru FC’s Miku during their ISL match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. DH Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Two sloppy pieces of defending cost Bengaluru FC dear as Jamshedpur FC struck right at the death to ensure the spoils were shared 2-2 in a bruising and ill-tempered Indian Super League encounter here on Sunday.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri appeared to have sealed the tetchy battle in BFC’s favour with a brilliant header two minutes from time but JFC, who yet again brought their ugly side to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, scored through Sergio Cidoncha when BFC defence dozed off for a second time.

True to the proclamation he made at the pre-match press conference, Jamshedpur coach Cesar Ferrando chose to start the encounter on a defensive note, packing the midfield with 5-6 players and having veteran Tim Cahill as the lone striker.

Bengaluru, totally aware of Jamshedpur’s plans, swapped their usual passing style with a more direct approach from the beginning itself. Chhetri neatly slipped into a false nine role and the rest of the medios just focused on slipping longs balls to Miku or the pacy winger Udanta Singh.

But thereafter, the game got scrappy as tackles kept flying thick and fast, much of the action happening around the midfield. While BFC wanted to be adventurous, Jamshedpur didn’t allow them that luxury by marking them very tightly.

The Blues, not able to even get the long balls like they did at the start, chose to pay their rivals back in the same coin by resorting to some tough tackles themselves. Players kept falling down often and to make matters worse, referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna struggled to control the proceedings.

It needed a moment of magic to change the pattern and BFC’s Nishu provided that. Xisco Hernandez whipped in a free kick into the box which was easily dealt with by JFC defence. However, Nishu rushed in from 25 yards to steal the ball from Mawihmingthanga and unleash a right-footed volley — all in one go.

The goal meant JFC had to shed their defensive cloaks in the second half but it was BFC who looked the more enterprising of the two. They created some good spaces and could have doubled the lead on a couple of occasions.

JFC rode through the tide and were unlucky not to have earned a freekick right on the edge of the box when Nishu brought down Mawihmingthanga. That apart JFC barely created anything, earning two yellows instead.

But poor defending from Albert Serran led to Gourav Mukhi gaining possession in the 81st minute. He then drove the ball neatly past keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Chhetri atoned for that error by heading home brilliantly in the 88th minute as majority of the 15,893 crowd erupted in joy.

But they were left silenced in the end when Mario Blasco was allowed time and space to run down and cut back the ball to an unmarked Cidoncha, who slotted home calmly to lay the finishing touches to a feisty clash.