Jamshedpur FC narrowly beat FC Goa in match no. 74 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Friday.
The previous meeting between the two sides witnessed the Red Miners ripping the Gaurs' defense apart and securing a 3-1 win. This encounter was important for both head coaches as well. Jamshedpur needed the win to close in on league leaders Hyderabad FC while FC Goa needed to push for the top four.
Derrick Perreira's side shaped up in their usual manner and kept the ball rolling but without causing any impactful damage to the opposition. The Men of Steel kept it tight at the back and were efficient in disconnecting FC Goa's passing lanes.
Jamshedpur FC started getting near the opposition's box but weren't sharp enough to get beyond the final line of defense. The Gaurs could have led the match in the 28th minute if not for the crossbar. Ivan Gonzalez's strike came off the bar and fell at the feet of Edu Bedia, whose strike was deflected off by TP Rehenesh.
Greg Stewart has been one of the key figures in the Jamshedpur FC dressing room in the past. But the player seems to have lost the magic touch everyone has grown familiar with.
On most occasions, Greg looked to be darting outside towards the right flank but was unable to cut inside and create magic. He was ineffective for most of the game except for an offensive corner where he brilliantly linked up with Alexandre Lima but did not account for anything.
Jamshedpur FC edge past a blunt FC Goa
The Red Miners were effectively holding up FC Goa's attack. The tides turned in their favor when recent recruit Daniel Chima Chukwu scored for them. Daniel, who was previously with SC East Bengal, was going through a goal drought. The spell seems to have been broken in Jamshedpur FC colors.
One of the prime reasons for Derrick Perreira's side's inability to score was their lack of a proper poacher/finisher. Airam Cabrera has not been able to deliver the goods when his side needs him to. That has troubled the Gaurs in the final third.
There was one moment when the Gaurs really had a clear chance on goal. Ivan Gonzalez played a long ball targeting Alberto Noguera but the attacking midfielder's physical alignment was wrong. Instead of taking the ball into his path, he took it down with his back against goal. This made it easy for the recovering defender to clear the threat.
Another problem for FC Goa is that the side are unable to adapt to the situation of the game in a particular moment. Being a goal down, the Gaurs stuck to their usual passing game and that allowed Owen Coyle's side to smoothly transition into their defensive shape. This made it difficult for FC Goa to breach the compactness and create a goal-scoring opportunity.
Derrick Perreira's side went down against the Red Miners yet another time and spoiled their hopes of making it to the top 4.