Jamshedpur FC pulled off an upset as they beat Mumbai City FC 2-0 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa in their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) encounter.
A goal each from Boris Singh Thangjam (72') and David Grande (90+1') turned out to be the demarcation line between the two sides.
Jamshedpur FC kept their nerves and played out from the back, and sealed a comfortable win.
The Red Miners now have 24 points from 19 matches and occupy the sixth position in the points table.
Speaking to the media after the match, Jamshedpur FC coach Owen Coyle said:
"It was a great victory. It was fully deserved. From the first whistle to the last, we were the dominant team. We scored two goals. We had wonderful chances. We have to give full credit to the players. Even in the last match against ATK (Mohun Bagan), we gave away (a goal) in the last moments. We shouldn't have lost the game. We've been playing well. Getting three points was important to finish the season strongly. This is a remarkable improvement from the last season. We have to do this to continue moving forward."
Unlike most of the other teams in the competition, Jamshedpur FC started the season with only five foreign players.
Nicholas Fitzgerald and David Grande were deemed fit to play only in January when the majority of the matches were over.
"We have been hampered in the past by various things like injuries. We had all our seven foreign players only in the last one or two weeks. Prior to that, it was only five all season with injuries to David Grande and Nicholas Fitzgerald. So, that has been a challenge. I think the game against FC Goa where the ball was over the line, if we had won the game, we would have been three points ahead of FC Goa now. So, sometimes big moments go against you," Jamshedpur FC coach Coyle further added.
We had a dip in form after the break: Jamshedpur FC coach Owen Coyle
Although Jamshedpur FC are still mathematically in contention to reach the playoffs, the odds are heavily stacked against them.
Owen Coyle believes that successive losses to Kerala Blasters, FC Goa, and NorthEast United FC after the break dented their hopes.
Nonetheless, the Red Miners will be eager to get all three points against Bengaluru FC in their next encounter.
"I think in the first part of the league, if we had beaten FC Goa, we would have been seven games unbeaten. Then, in the next game we beat Bengaluru FC. We had a dip in form after the break. We had a two week gap which didn't help us. We lost three games after that. That's what cost us a playoff place. Had we picked up any point in that three-game period, we could have had a chance to make it to the playoffs. That's the margins in this league. They are so fine. But, we have improved a lot since then. We got another clean sheet tonight. (Peter) Hartley and (Stephen) Eze have been outstanding. Laldinliana (Renthlei), Rehenesh (TP), and Ricky (Lallawmawma) those boys in the defense have stood up to everything they have had. We have to continue with the positives in the last game against Bengaluru FC and finish as high as possible we can. To do that, we have to go out and get all the three points," Coyle signed off.