Kerala Blasters were held to a draw by Jamshedpur FC in the second leg of Semifinal-1 as the men in yellow advanced to the Hero ISL finals. Luna for KBFC and Pronay Halder for JFC found the nets in Tilak Maidan.
Due to unavailability of Sahal, gaffer flurried in two changes from the previous lineup. Nishu Kumar and Sandeep Singh replaced Sahal and Sanjeev respectively. KBFC started off things with an exquisite chance in the first minute itself. Diaz’s accurate pass reached Alvaro but his chip to the goal just went wide. In the tenth minute Diaz did score a goal after he hit the woodwork, but was denied due to offside.
Within 10 minutes of the goal being denied, KBFC broke the dead-lock through skipper Luna. He wiggled through the edge of the box and hit the target with a curving ball which had both power and accuracy. Jamshedpur on other hand created some chances but failed to convert them.
Second half began with Jamshedpur’s equalizer of the day. They found the net through Pronay Halder from a set-piece within the first few minutes of the second half. In the very next moment KBFC had a chance to take the lead once again, but Alvaro’s attempt to score was cleared from almost the goal-line by Eli Sabia.
Later on, Jamshedpur increased the level of pressure and they started to press high. The combined effort from our team kept them away from scoring the second of the night. Goalkeeper Gill and his defence line was vigilant throughout the day not to commit errors and they emerged victorious. Final whistle was blown after five minutes of additional time to the second half, and KBFC qualified for the final game of Hero ISL season 8 with the aggregate score of 2-1.
The men in yellow have made it into the finals two times in the past, and this is the third opportunity for them to grab the trophy. Kerala Blasters will face the winners of semifinal-2 in the final clash which will be held at Fatorda Stadium on 20th of March, 2022.
KBFC XI:- Prabhsukhan Singh Gill(GK), Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Hormipam Ruivah, Marko Leskovic, Sandeep Singh Soraisam, Ayush Adhikari, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Adrian Luna(C), Nishu Kumar, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Alvaro Vazquez Garcia.
Subs:- Karanjit Singh(GK), Bijoy V, Sanjeev Stalin, Enes Sipovic, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Vincy Barretto, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni,Rahul KP.
JFC XI:- TP Rehenesh (GK), Laldinliana Ralte, Eli Sabia, Peter Hartley(C), Ricky Lallawmawma, Jitendra Singh, Pronay Halder, Greg Stewart, Ishan Pandita, Ritwik Kumar Das, Daniel Chima Chukwu.
Subs:- Pawan Kumar(GK), PC Laldinpuia, Narendar Gahlot, Seiminlen Doungel, Jordan Murray, Alexandre Lima, Mobashir Rahman, Sandip Mandi, Anas Edathodika.