Football

ISL 2019 | Messi’s brace saves Kerala Blasters’ blushes

Having a blast! Raphael Messi Bouli was in his element for Kerala Blasters.

Having a blast! Raphael Messi Bouli was in his element for Kerala Blasters.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

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Helps Kerala claw back from two goals down to hold Jamshedpur

Raphel Messi Bouli’s brace saved Kerala Blasters’ blushes as it came back from a two-goal deficit to share the honours in its Hero ISL match against Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Friday.

Messi struck in the 75th and 86th minutes — the second off a penalty — to salvage a valuable point for the home side.

Vineeth strikes

Former Kerala Blasters star C.K. Vineeth seemed to have sealed the contest for the visitors when he scored from close in the 71st minute. But Messi and Kerala Blasters turned the contest on its head with aggressive play in the second half.

After a passive first half in which Blasters fell behind after Franciso Medina Lina (Piti) found the target off a penalty in the 38th minute, the hosts came out all guns blazing in the second period.

The opening goal from Jamshedpur came through a poor clearance from Seityasen Singh who gave away a corner needlessly. After the ball was floated into the Blasters half, Vlatko Drobarvo tripped Jose Espinosa from behind. The resultant penalty was converted by Medina.

More fluent

Blasters played with with more fluency in the second half but Messi missed a chance.

Vineeth scored against the run of play in the 71st minute, drilling a low shot into the far post off a fine cross from Farukh Chaudhary.

Messi reduced the margin, heading home a fine cross from Sahal Abdul Salam from the right flank.

The goal pepped up Blasters who attacked with verve. A fine move down the right flank resulted in the second strike. Seityasen moved up into the box and was brought down by Robin Gurung. Messi made no mistake, sending Subrata Paul the wrong way.

The draw took Blasters to seven points and seventh spot while Jamshedpur moved to third with 13.

The result: Kerala Blasters 2 (Messi 75, 86) drew Jamshedpur FC 2 ( Francisco Medina 38, C.K.Vineeth 71).

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:33:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/isl-2019-messis-brace-saves-kerala-blasters-blushes/article30303934.ece

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