A young Bengaluru FC side suffered a heavy defeat after a second half blitzkrieg in which Jamshedpur FC scored four times in six minutes, saw the hosts beat the Blues 5-1 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, in Jamshedpur, on Wednesday. Semboi Haokip (17’) gave Bengaluru the lead before goals from Augustin Fernandes (45+2’), Michael Soosairaj (54’), Pablo Morgado (56’ 57’) and Carlos Calvo (61’) gave Cesar Ferrando’s side the big win.
Cuadrat’s eleven included faces that have had few or no minutes this season. Sairuat Kima at the back was handed his club debut in a squad that had Bengaluru FC B players Parag Shrivas, Myron Mendes and Aditya Patra on the bench. Meanwhile Soram Poirei, Ajay Chhetri and Gursimrat Singh started for the first time this season. Xisco and Luisma Villa – in what was a first in the history of the Indian Super League – were the only two foreigners who started the game.
The Blues, having already secured top spot in the League for the second season running, chose to leave behind a host of big names back in Bengaluru for a game that had no consequence on the table. Sunil Chhetri, Miku, Dimas Delgado, Udanta Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Juanan Gonzalez, Albert Serran and Rahul Bheke were all left out of the squad that made the long trip to Jamshedpur.
Bengaluru raced to a lead in the 17th minute when Semboi made the most of some poor communication between defender Augustin Fernandes and Subrata Paul. Assuming his ’keeper was coming out to collect a long punt from Xisco, Augustin could only watch as Haokip charged, latched on to the loose ball and poked past Paul who was rooted in his place to make it 1-0.
The Blues then had the chance to tighten their grip on the game when they were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute after Tiri brought Edmund Lalrindika down in the box. However, Xisco’s penalty lacked conviction and pace and Paul guessed correctly to make the easiest of saves.
Just when it looked like the miss wouldn’t come to haunt Bengaluru, a goalkeeping blunder at the other end brought Jamshedpur right back into the game with seconds to the break. Bengaluru had staved off an attempt from Dhanachandra Singh in the box before Soram Poirei pounced on the loose ball, only to spill it and allow Fernandes to shoot into an empty net from a narrow angle.
But what started out as a promising show by the youngsters soon turned into a nightmare of sorts in a matter of six second half minutes, where Bengaluru conceded four times.
Soosairaj began the flurry with an effort that curled in at the far post to put Jamshedpur ahead. Morgado then scored the first of his two when he nodded home a cross from Calvo. He soon added a second, picking the ball in the box and cutting past Kima before slotting past Poirei to make it 4-1. Calvo then got in on the act himself, scoring directly from a free kick a minute over the hour mark.
The night went from bad to worse when the Blues were reduced to ten men after Gursimrat picked up a second booking for a challenge on Morgado and was given marching orders in the 68th minute.
Mendes and Shrivas had their first minutes of ISL action too, after being brought on as second-half substitutes. The Blues now regroup in Bengaluru as they await their opponents for the semifinal.