Sergio Cidoncha's injury minute strike salvaged a 2-2 draw for Jamshedpur FC against Bengaluru FC in a pulsating Indian Super League clash on Sunday.
Nishu Kumar's stunning volley at the stroke of half-time put the hosts ahead. However, youngster Gourav Mukhi made history when he came on for Jamshedpur FC as a substitute and scored on his debut to equalise.
There was more excitement in store for fans as Sunil Chhetri's header in the 88th minute was cancelled out by Cidoncha's effort in added time (90+4).
Tim Cahill and Michael Soosairaj made their much-awaited debuts in the Hero ISL as Jamshedpur FC head coach Cesar Ferrando named an attacking side to take on last season's finalists. Carles Cuadrat's Bengaluru were unchanged from their 1-0 win over defending champions Chennaiyin FC.
Ferrando's side started the game on the front foot but the first real threat came from the home side 12 minutes into the match. Udanta Singh's blistering pace allowed him to race past winger-turned-left-back Bikash Jairu into space on the right flank. The winger's cross, however, failed to reach Chhetri and was cleared by Tiri at the centre of the box.
Cahill looked to get on the act by teasing a through-ball into space for Jerry Mawhmingthanga. The right-sided winger had time to pick out Soosairaj's run into the box but the youngster's cross was struck with too much force.
Jamshedpur piled up the pressure as the first-half progressed but their final delivery into the box lacked clarity. Mario Arques struck a dangerous free-kick at Gurpreet Singh's goal but it sailed inches over the bar.
Chhetri's clever free-kick from the right flank was aimed at Xisco Fernandez who was waiting at the edge of the box. The Spanish midfielder's sweet volley flew inches past the post acting as an alarm for what was to come.
Two minutes later, another free-kick, earned by Miku and taken by Xisco, was headed clear initially by Tiri. The ball fell to Nishu Kumar outside the box who unleashed a stunning strike into the top left corner of the net, leaving Subhasish Chowdhury helpless and stunned.
.@nishukumar22 worked tirelessly for his team and also scored a belter of a goal to give @bengalurufc the lead. He is the Hero of the Match.#HeroISL #LetsFootball #BENJAM #FanBannaPadega pic.twitter.com/EOf4SEd7xo
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 7, 2018
Ferrando replaced defender Gaikwad with Mobashir Rahman and the midfielder almost pulled off another long-range goal. A brilliant strike from outside the box was kept out of the top right corner of the net by the outstretched hands of Gurpreet Singh.
With 19 minutes left on the clock, 16-year-old forward Gourav Mukhi replaced Jerry to become the youngest ever player to make his debut in ISL. Ten minutes into his debut, the youngster produced a moment of brilliance to bring Jamshedpur back into the game.
Mukhi outmuscled Serran as he raced into the box to receive Maria Arques' chip and slotted the ball past Gurpreet Singh for the equaliser. Just as the Blues faithful thought they were done for the day, Harmanjot Khabra's long ball into the box from the right flank was headed into the net by Sunil Chhetri to put the hosts back into the lead in the 88th minute.
However, Jamshedpur FC showed gumption as they pulled one back right at the death. Arques's cross into the box saw Cidoncha direct his shot into the far post ensuring a crucial point away from home. The hard-fought draw ensured an unbeaten run for Jamshedpur FC at the Kanteerava Stadium.