Jamshedpur FC ended their Hero Indian Super League campaign on an impressive note as they schooled an inexperienced Bengaluru FC team 5-1 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
Bengaluru FC took the lead through Semboi Haokip (16’), only for Augustin Fernandes (45’) to level terms at the break. But Jamshedpur turned on the style in an incredible second-half display to seal a dominant win, with goals from Michael Soosairaj (54’), Pablo Morgado (56’,57’) and Carlos Calvo (61’).
Bengaluru, who had rested several key first-team players ahead of the playoffs, ended the league stage with 34 points at the top of the table. Jamshedpur finishes fifth with 27 points at the end of their campaign.
In a match that got off to a slightly sedate start, it were Bengaluru’s heavily-rotated team that took the lead.
Jamshedpur pushed forward early on but were unable to get the better of the visitors’ backline. But a school-boy error from the Jamshedpur defence helped Bengaluru take the lead. Goalkeeper Subrata Paul and Augustin Fernandes were slow to react to a lob by Xisco Hernandez, and with confusion prevailing who should clear the danger, Haokip chased it down and slotted home to score his first goal of the season.
Bengaluru almost went 2-0 up in the 25th minute. Haokip sent Edmund Lalrindika clear into the box and Tiri was adjudged to have brought down the player in the box. Xisco stepped up to take the penalty but his poor attempt was saved by Subrata.
The Blues looked to stay on top as the first half wore on but were pegged back just before the break. Jerry Mawihmingthanga’s through-ball found Dhanachandra Singh inside the box. But Bengaluru goalkeeper Soram Poirei made a complete mess of his attempted save and fumbled with the ball. Augustin Fernandes got to the loose ball first and found the net from an acute angle to make amends.
Jamshedpur started from where they stopped after restart. The Bengaluru defence looked clueless against their opposition’s renewed vigour. And an incredible three-minute period saw Jamshedpur score three goals.
In the 56th minute, Memo found Soosairaj on the left flank who cut inside and curled a right-footed shot into the top corner, giving Poirei no chance. Almost immediately, Calvo’s inch-perfect cross from the right wing was met by an unmarked Morgado in the centre of the box who netted an easy header.
In the 57th minute, Jerry’s low cross found Morgado in the box and the striker shimmied his way into the centre before slotting the ball home from close-range.
The inexperienced Bengaluru backline crumbled under pressure and conceded another goal after the hour-mark. A brilliant free-kick by Calvo from the edge of the box could not be kept out by Poirei as Jamshedpur established a four-goal lead.
Things turned from bad to worse for the shell-shocked visitors in the 68th minute. Gursimrat fouled Morgado as both players contested an aerial ball and picked up his second yellow card.
Jamshedpur had several chances towards the end to score more goals but eventually, the game ended 5-1.