Jamshedpur FC beat NorthEast United FC 3-2 in a dramatic Hero Indian Super League (ISL) encounter on Friday at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa to inch closer to the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
Coyle’s men had gone two goals up with goals from Seiminlen Doungel (35′) and Greg Stewart (59′) but substitutes Danmawia (66′) and Marcelinho (68′) got the Highlanders back in the game. However, a late winner by Jordan Murray (84′) sealed the win for Jamshedpur FC having come off the bench.
The Men of Steel started the contest brightly pushing the Highlanders deep in their own half but Khalid Jamil’s men soon got a foothold in the contest after the five-minute mark to make it a more even contest.
The first real chance of the match fell to Jamshedpur FC in the 8th minute when Stewart dinked a ball in the penalty box for Daniel Chima. But the Nigerian striker’s shot was denied by the NorthEast United FC goalkeeper Mirshad Michu.
In the 26th minute of the match, Ritwik Das controlled a long ball inside the six-yard area but the Highlanders defender Joe Zoherliana was alert to the danger and took away the ball off the Jamshedpur attacker.
Just after the drink break Jamshedpur FC drew first blood against the run of play as Doungel headed home a Mobashir Rahman cross at the near post in the 35th minute.
The Highlanders stepped up the intensity after conceding the goal but Jamshedpur FC’s resolute defence were able to deal with the problems Khalid Jamil’s men were causing them.
Jamshedpur FC went into the break with their noses in front but with just a slender lead to protect.
Khalid Jamil made a double change at the interval bringing on Laldanmawia Ralte and Marcelinho. As for Jamshedpur FC, Narender Gahlot replaced injured Peter Hartley
Owen Coyle’s men started the second half strongly and should have added a second goal when Das who was played in on goal failed to score despite being in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper in the 51st minute.
Seven minutes later the Men of Steel eventually doubled up their lead. Jamshedpur FC top scorer Stewart took Mobashir lob all the way from a little past the halfway line, going past Mashoor Shereef with a little bit of skill on the way before calmly chipping it past Mirshad.
For the Highlanders, both their substitutes turned out to be super subs. The first goal for NEUFC came in the 66th minute when Laldanmawia delivered a strike from a close distance and converted that into a goal. Two minutes later, Pragyan Medhi threaded a ball through for Mercelinho, the Brazillian beat the Jamshedpur FC defence and the goalkeeper with sheer pace and scored the equaliser.
The game swung again this time in Jamshedpur FC’s favour as Murray scored his third goal of the season with the assistance of Stewart in the 84th minute of the match.
In the dying stages of the game, JFC continued to have opportunities to score but they failed to convert any of those chances.
This win keeps Coyle’s men in the second spot on the points table, four points behind leaders Hyderabad FC. As for Northeast United FC, this defeat meant they stayed tenth in the table.
The Men of Steel will take on table-toppers Hyderabad FC on Tuesday. As for Jamil’s side, they face SC East Bengal on Monday.
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