Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter
ISL: Jamshedpur edge past Bengaluru
Stephen Eze’s goal helped the Jharkhand side register win in the steel derby.
Jamshedpur FC defeated Bengaluru FC by 1-0 on Monday night at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. Stephen Eze’s 79th minute goal turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
Bengaluru had a strong start to the contest and had set piece in the second minute of the match itself when Suresh Wangjam was brought down at the edge of the box by Alexander Lima. But the resulting free-kick from Kristian Opseth was parried away by TP Rehenesh.
Five minutes later it was the other way round as Suresh Wangjam fouled Lima but Monroy's set-piece was cleared away by Juanan without any fuss.
Bengaluru had a chance to take the lead at the 11th minute when Suresh laid a ball for Chhetri whose shot deflected out for a corner, but Dimas' corner was looped over the crossbar by Chhetri.
It was an end to end affair in the first quarter but Bengaluru had an upper hand thanks to Suresh Wangjam's show stealing Performance.
The first real chance for Jamshedpur fell in 17th minute when Aniket drilled in a low cross for Nerijus Valksis but the Lithuanian shot it wide.
Bengaluru almost had the lead in the 33rd minute when Suresh was past the defence and Bengaluru were in a 2v1 situation against Rehenesh but the custodian's heroics saved the day for Jamshedpur as he raced off his line and blocked a pass from Suresh to Cleiton Silva.
Two minutes later Sunil Chhetri was inside the box to receive a cross from Suresh to take a free shot but the Indian skipper pulled it wide.
The scoreline remained goalless at the break despite a plethora of opportunities for both the sides.
The pace of the game slowed down in the second half and both the sides couldn’t create good opportunities.
In the 79th minute Stephen Eze found the breakthrough for the visitors as he scored his third of goal of the season. Lima's weighted pass for Aniket led to a curling cross inside the box for the Nigerian who put the ball into the back of the net through a diving header.
Mobashir had a chance to double the lead in the 83rd minute but his shot whizzed past the bottom corner.
Bengaluru threw bodies forward in quest of the equalizer but Jamshedpur defence was rigid and did not allow them any clear cut opportunity to earn one, as the side from Jharkhand bagged all three points.
Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle said the team has improved a lot, “Game by game we have steadily improved. We lost three points against FC Goa and then we came out against a wonderful Bengaluru team. We were a real threat; we scored one goal when we could have scored two or three. We deserved the three points.”
The coach added that there is still room for improvement, “I still think that there is room for improvement. We have David Grande, Nicholas Fitzgerald and Narender Gahlot missing but this group of players gives us everything that we have got.
“I believe that we will get stronger in the second half of the season. I have the best group of players. They worked hard and they kept on giving me everything. Credit to them because we clearly deserved the three points.”
Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat tied missed opportunities that cost them the game, “Football is a game of dynamics. When you score one goal, it’s easier to score a second one. But when you miss chances like we did in the first half, we get stressed. We need to score for things to go fluently.
“We know the conditions of the league. We know that there are some very tough teams. We were fighting for something from the match just like we did in the last game but it was not possible,” he said.