Football

ISL | Gomes emerges Blasters’ hero

At full blast! Gomes is gung-ho after stopping Sylvestr’s penalty.  

Chennaiyin FC was left to rue a missed penalty as it was held to a goalless draw by Kerala Blasters in an evenly fought contest at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Sunday.

In the 75th minute, Jakub Sylvestr’s strike was guessed right by Blaster ’keeper Albino Gomes, who dived to his left to stop the Slovakian’s strike.

The penalty was won, thanks to a brilliant run from Reagan Singh on the left as he set it up for Crivellaro inside the box. The latter was brought down by Blasters skipper Sergio Cidoncha, giving Chennaiyin a golden chance to go ahead. However, that was not to be.

Earlier, in the first half, Chennaiyin got off the blocks quickly.

In the seventh minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte produced a sizzling run on the right off a long ball and passed to Anirudh Thapa, but the latter’s shot went wide. In the 16th, Chennai had its best opportunity of the first period when Gomes slipped, providing Crivellaro a chance to fire a shot. However, Bakary Kone saved Blasters’ blushes with a timely clearance.

Once the Kerala side found its rhythm in the second part of the first half, it started to dominate possession and also exerted pressure on the Chennai outfit.

At the half-hour mark, Rohit Kumar came up with the only shot on target from either team from outside the box, but an acrobatic Chennaiyin ’keeper Vishal Kaith pushed the ball wide.

In the second half, both sides failed to break the deadlock as they hardly created any chances.

In the day’s first match at Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Odisha FC rallied from 2-0 down to hold Jamshedpur FC.

Valskis’ brace

Substitute Diego Maurico’s brace earned Odisha a point after Jamshedpur striker Nerijus Valskis had scored twice for his side. The Lithuanian’s shot from close range struck the arm of defender Gaurav Bora, earning his side a penalty which he smashed home.

For his second, Valskis met Odisha right-back Shubham Sarangi’s cushioned header into his own box, firing home from a tight angle.

For Jamshedpur ‘keeper T.P. Rehenesh, it was a mixed day. In just one minute, he denied Manuel Onwu’s overhead kick with an acrobatic one-handed save and followed it up with a point-blank save off Nandhakumar Sekar.

In the 74th minute, Rehenesh was sent off for handling the ball outside his box, opening the door for Odisha’s comeback. Off the resulting free kick, Brazilian Mauricio poked the ball into the net after a scrap inside the box, setting up a tantalising finish.

In stoppage time, Mauricio unleashed an unstoppable drive, after cutting in from the left, giving Rehenesh’s replacement Pawan Kumar no chance.

The results: Jamshedpur FC 2 (Valskis 12 & 27) drew with Odisha FC 2 (Mauricio 77 & 90+2).

Chennaiyin FC 0 drew with Kerala Blasters FC 0.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 5:01:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/isl-gomes-emerges-blasters-hero/article33207222.ece

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