The Men of Steel will be hopeful of turning the tables and heading towards the summit clash.
Jamshedpur FC will have their task cut out when they take on Kerala Blasters FC in the second leg of the 2021-22 Indian Super League semifinal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Tuesday.
Kerala ran out 1-0 winners in the first leg riding a Sahal Abdul Samad goal, but head coach Ivan Vukomanović would know all too well that Jamshedpur, with all their might, can forge a comeback any moment.
Jamshedpur won the Shield for the first time, racking up 43 points in 20 league games and breaking a few records on the way. It has been a stellar season for the Men of Steel and Owen Coyle would like to believe the result in the first leg was an aberration.
“We won’t change our approach. Anybody who watches Jamshedpur knows that we go to win every game. We have to win this match if we want to progress to the final. So we have to score goals. The approach will be similar to the one we had against ATK Mohun Bagan, that was the game we had to ensure we win the Shield. We respect the opponents and we know how good they are, we will try and be at our best,” Coyle said on the eve of the game.
“We were hurt by the loss the other night, ending our winning streak. Now we want to get to that final,” he added.
Jamshedpur were on a seven-game winning run before they lost to Kerala. Daniel Chima Chukwu missed two gilt-edged chances in the first leg while Greg Stewart had an off day, and Coyle would hope his two protagonists fire when it mattered the most.
For Kerala, Sahal has had a season to remember and his goal in the last game means he is now the joint second-highest scoring Indian (six goals) behind only Liston Colaco who has scored eight goals so far. Ruivah Hormipam has also been a rock at the back for Kerala, the 21-year old having a breakthrough season. Hormipam was brilliant for the yellow shirts in the first leg and along with Marko Lešković they never let Jamshedpur play the freedom they usually do in the final third.
“We don’t even look at our last game, that lead won’t give any guarantee. Tomorrow is a new game we’ve to be concentrated and 1-0 from the last game doesn’t give us anything, we’ll start like 0 – 0. It’ll be more difficult than the last game,” Vukomanović said.
We will celebrate every game like we won the world cup, every win matters to us. Nothing we achieved was offered to us; we fought for it. We beat the best team in India like they said so. It’ll be an even more ugly game tomorrow,” he added.
Kerala Blasters have everyone available for the second leg except Denechandran Meitei.
Boris Singh is most likely to miss the game. Apparently, the condition of Len Doungel is also not transparent. With Komal Thatal and Farukh Choudhary missing too, Jamshedpur has got shortage of players in the wide areas. Hence, it is assumable that Owen Coyle will have a tough time in finding the preferred eleven.
Kerala Blasters: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (GK), Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Hormipam Ruivah, Marko Leskovic, Sanjeev Stalin, Puitea, Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez, Jorge Pereyra Diaz.
Jamshedpur FC: Rehenesh TP (GK), PC Dinpuia, Peter Hartley, Eli Sabia, Ricky Lallawmawma, Pronay Halder, Jitendra Singh, Mobashir Rahman, Ritwik Das, Greg Stewart, Daniel Chima.
Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC have locked horns 11 times. Apparently, Kerala Blasters have earned two victories. Meanwhile, Jamshedpur FC have won thrice. Six of the fixtures have ended in draws.
Did you know?
- Sahal Abdul Samad has scored in consecutive games for the second time this season.
- Jamshedpur FC can create history by winning most games in an ISL season if they win the second leg and the finals.
- Jamshedpur FC’s Greg Stewart is the most aggressive presser in the attacking third of all the ISL players.
The match between Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC will be played at the Tilak Maidan, Goa. The game will kick off at 7:30 pm. Star Sports Network will be telecasting the game live. The game will be streamed live on Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.
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