ISL: Jamshedpur FC climb to second spot with win over FC Goa
Jamshedpur FC scraped past FC Goa via Daniel Chima Chukwu's solitary second-half goal in a hard-fought tie of the Indian Super League 2021-22 tie in Bambolim, Goa on Friday evening.
The 1-0 win placed the Men of Steel in second place in the ISL table with 22 points (12 matches, 6 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses), behind table-toppers Hyderabad FC who have secured 23 points (13 matches, 6 wins, 5 draws, 2 losses). FC Goa remain on the 9th spot with 14 points (14 matches, 3 wins, 5 draws, 6 losses). Jamshedpur FC was third on the points table prior to their outing versus FC Goa.
Nigerian forward Chima (49th minute) scored on his first outing for Jamshedpur FC after signing for them in the January transfer window.
FC Goa showed early form and narrowly missed the target when Ivan Gonzalez hit the underside of the crossbar with a header. The rebound fell to Edu Bedia whose low shot was brilliantly saved by TP Rehenesh. The Gaurs threw more subsequent attacks at the JFC defence but to no avail.
The first half was feisty, to say the least, which led to three yellow cards being handed out to Alex Lima, Anwar Ali and Chima respectively.
The second half started with JFC pushing for a goal and they got one through debutant Chukwu whose volley was too powerful for Naveen Kumar. The custodian got both hands on the ball but could not prevent it from slipping into the back of the net.
Ali came close to equalizing for the Gaurs past the hour mark but the ball did not go in after it hit the crossbar for the second time. At the stroke of the 80th minute, Airan Cabrera struck the crossbar for the third time for Goa with a left-foot volley.
Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle heaped praise on Chima. " He (Chima) is a wonderful player, always has been. If you doubt him because he scored only two goals for SC East Bengal, I think you’ve got to look at the games. One doesn’t have to score goals (only) to contribute to a team and that’s what Daniel Chima does. He has the quality. The fact he scored the match-winning goal takes him to another level.”
“Chima is a champion, three times champion in Norway, at a very high level. He is a very good player and a good man. He has been very humble since he came into the group and his work rate, goal and performance on Friday was outstanding. So, for me, well done Chima,” the coach added.
On taking only one shot on target and overall performance, the Scotland-born Owen said, "I don’t think a lot about those stats. I know that we had numerous opportunities at different times. We scored a goal and have the clean-sheet, another thing which is important."
“FC Goa had some chances, but there is no doubt given the circumstances, we were fully deserving. We were tough defensively and we needed to have a little bit of composure with the final pass. That is understandable because the boys haven’t trained for 17 days, but the spirit, the desire and the will to win speaks for us,” he stated.
FC Goa will face an ambitious Odisha FC next at the Athletic Stadium on Tuesday while Jamshedpur FC awaits the challenge of an in-form Bengaluru FC on Saturday at the same venue.