Jerry Mawhmingthanga scored Indian Super League’s fastest ever goal to help Jamshedpur FC beat Kerala Blasters 2-1 in an entertaining match here today.
Jerry gave the home side the lead just 22 seconds after kick-off before Ashim Biswas added another goal in the 31st minute as ISL newbies Jamshedpur notched up their first win at home.
For the Blasters, Mark Sifneos pulled one back in the 90th minute.
Jamshedpur had lost twice and drawn twice at home before today’s maiden win.
The vital win kept Jamshedpur’s hopes of making the top four alive. They are now at seventh spot with 13 points from 10 matches.
The win also snapped Blasters coach David James’ unbeaten three-match streak since taking over the reigns of the Kochi-based side.
Ashim was involved in the opening goal as well when his turn-and-shot attempt was slightly deflected into the path of Jerry, who quickly latched onto the loose ball, rounded Paul Rachubka and slotted it to Blasters net.
Blasters striker Iain Hume then saw his thumping header from a corner cleared off the goal-line by Yumnam Raju.
But it was all Jamshedpur in the opening 15 minutes and Blasters took some time getting adjusted to the pace of the game. Their troubles worsened when key midfielder and new signing Keziron Kizito had to come off due to a shoulder injury and was later seen heavily strapped in the technical area.
Jamshedpur extended their lead when Bikash Jairu’s cross was missed by both Jerry and Sandesh Jhingan. Ashim was waiting though and swept it into the net with power and placement to make it 2-0 for Jamshedpur.
Jamshedpur head coach Steve Coppell had promised that his side would play attacking football and it was refreshing to see both teams go all out in the search for three points.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were cagey at best. Jamshedpur were playing on the break, having got their goals in the first period.
As for the Blasters, their frustrations were captured in one moment when Hume kicked out at Jerry after being challenged from behind.
The game needed a goal to open up, but it came too late, when Mark Sifneos, who had come on for the frustrated Hume, tapped in a header from close range in injury time.
The second half saw more fouls and arguments than openings. There was only one notable chance for Jamshedpur, when Jerry’s fizzing delivery found Izu Azuka’s head, but the attempt did not go in.
The win took Jamshedpur to seventh position, on 13 points, just one behind Kerala Blasters with a game in hand, and above ATK. It also throws open the battle for fourth position in a big way.