Jamshedpur FC took their first three points of the 2020-21 Indian Super League Season (ISL) season with a 2-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Monday. Jamshedpur FC were the better side for the majority of the match and held on for the win, despite a slightly nervy end.
It was Jamshedpur FC who started the game on a positive note as they won a couple of early corners. Peter Hartley won his header from an initial delivery, but the ball was deflected out for another corner.
However, Mohammad Mobashir found himself in an off-side position to put an end to that chance. A few minutes later, center-back Peter Hartley came up with a fantastic long ball which was misjudged by Sandesh Jhingan.
Starting his first-ever ISL game, William Lalnunfela had a glorious chance to put himself on the scoresheet but a poor second-touch took the ball away. The ball fell to Mobashir but he could only shoot straight to Arindam Bhattacharya.
At the other end, ATK Mohun Bagan got a half-chance from Edu Garcia’s free-kick, but Carl McHugh’s header was just a bit wide. In the 29th minute, Jackichand Singh’s cross was cleared for a corner. The ATK defense headed out Aitor Monroy’s first delivery.
Monroy then found Peter Hartley with the second kick. But the Jamshedpur FC skipper’s header was cleared by Pritam Kotal on the line, with Tiri going on to concede yet another corner.
Eventually, Aitor Monroy’s superb delivery was converted into a goal as Nerijus Valskis’ bullet header found the back of the net. A few minutes after the cooling break, Valskis almost doubled the lead, following a Jackichand Singh cross. But the header lacked power as Arindam Bhattacharya pushed it away for a corner. The remaining few minutes in the first half came to a quiet end, except for a few injuries to Carl McHugh, Alex Lima, and William Lalnunfela.
In the second half, it was ATK Mohun Bagan who started on the front foot as they targeted for a quick equalizer. The left wing-back Subhasish Bose made a superb flick and came up with a deep cross. But Roy Krishna couldn’t bring down the ball, despite his best efforts.
Just a few seconds later, a Prabir Das cross was flicked by Roy Krishna only to see TP Rehenesh come up with an amazing save. Pressure from ATKMB increased further when Glan Martins’ shot from way outside the box took a deflection. But Rehenesh was up to the task again with a brilliant diving save.
After the pressure settled down, it was another Aitor Monroy delivery which brought about Jamshedpur FC’s second goal. Mohammad Mobashir flicked it straight to the foot of Nerijus Valskis. The latter then directed the ball into an empty net as the ATKMB players left the 2019-20 ISL Golden Boot winner with a lot of space.
With just a few minutes left on the clock, the onus was firmly on ATKMB to open up Jamshedpur FC. After an Edu Garcia corner-kick was headed out by Peter Hartley, Subashish Bose came up with a chipped ball to Manvir Singh. The latter then shot it to Roy Krishna, who was in an off-side position.
However, with the assistant referee curiously not raising the flag, the Fijian goal-machine rounded off TP Rehenesh to cut Jamshedpur FC’s lead by half. Five minutes later, ATKMB came up with a blistering counter-attack through Manvir Singh. He entered the 18-yard box to push a cross for Prabir Das. Prabir headed it in for Roy Krishna but Peter Hartley made a timely interception to pull Jamshedpur FC out of trouble.
ATKMB continued to pile on the pressure till the very last minute. A number of players took long shots only to see the Jamshedpur FC defense hold fort. Manvir Singh, in particular, looked threatening as he almost curled a shot past Rehenesh. However, but the ball went just a bit wide with what was the last chance of the game.
ISL 2020-21, JFC vs ATKMB: Who was the Hero of the Match?
Without a doubt, Nerijus Valskis was the ‘Hero of the Match’ due to his brilliant all-round display. Valskis finished off his two chances clinically and also helped out the team when they had to defend stoutly towards the end.
The Lithuanian striker was also seen directing the young Jamshedpur FC players like Mobashir Rahman and William Lalnunfela to bring out the best decision-making from them.