Kerala Blasters was penalised by Jameshpur FC for some sloppy defence on Thursday night. The men from Kochi conceded penalties within a space of four minutes, on either side of the interval, as they slid to a 0-3 defeat at GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim. After Greg Stewart converted both the penalty kicks, Daniel Chima Chukwu scored the third.
Blasters thus dropped to the fifth position on the table, from second. It remains on 23 points. The situation is reversed in the case of Jamshedpur, which moved up to second, from fifth. It has 25 points, one behind leader Hyderabad FC, with a game in hand.
Owen Coyle’s men should be pleased with their show against a formidable Blasters side. This, however, turned out to be a match to forget for Ivan Vukomanovic’s boys – in particular to Denechandram Meitei and Marko Leskovic, whose lapses let their team down.
The first of those costly errors came from Denechandram towards the end of what had been a somewhat cagey opening half, as he brought down Stewart inside the box with an unnecessary challenge.
The Scotsman firmly and calmly drove the ball in, even as the Blasters goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill dove the other way. It was, of course, a dejected bunch of Blasters men that walked back to their dressing room.
Soon after the break, Leskovic’s decision to tackle Boris Singh from behind resulted in the second penalty. Stewart went for the Panenka this time and dinked the ball down the middle. Gill, who dove to his right, had no chance to save the penalty once again.
Five minutes later, Chukwu, who was fed a good ball from Boris from the right, scored his third goal in as many matches for Jamshedpur, after leaving East Bengal in the transfer window.