What Do You Call A Game With Six Red Cards And No Explanation?

Match Report Indian Super League

What a game. FC Goa’s games always produce a lot of goals, that’s a given. On the other hand, Jamshedpur’s games are always relatively low-scoring affairs, so something had to give. If I was to tell you that there were six goals and that wasn’t even the half of it, then you’d be halfway to really understanding what on earth actually happened in the penultimate quarter-final of the inaugural Hero Super Cup.

Strap In For A Surreal Game

It’s going to be nigh on impossible to really do the game justice, here goes nothing… For starters, I’m pleased to say that both gaffers went for their strongest possible XI and what was about to follow, no-one could’ve predicted.

If you can recall, the last time the two sides met, it was effectively ended as a contest when Subrata was sent off early doors for handling outside his area. FC Goa then went on to put three past the ‘Men of Steel’ which meant that FC Goa qualified for the ISL finals at Jamshedpur’s expense, so I guess you could say that Coppell’s side wanted some form of revenge in Bhubaneswar.

Surprisingly, it took until the 34th minute to be broken and that was done by Brandon after some brilliant link-up play with the imperious Hugo Boumous who is fast becoming one of my favourite players in the ISL. Brandon did have the ball in the net again in first-half stoppage time and that’s when things got a bit heated…

To Say The Ref Got A Bit Card Happy Would Be An Understatement

Yesterday when we were looking over Mohun’s win against Shillong Lajong, we touched on the goal that wasn’t given and then (rightly) was. Well, the same thing happened here, with one key difference. It was the other way around; the referee had given the goal but then changed his mind after consulting the officials. The important bit was that the ball went out of play in the build-up to the goal and to be fair, it had, regardless of all of that, a bit of good-old fashioned bedlam was on the cards.

I’m still not 100% sure what happened, nonetheless, what I am sure of is that something must’ve gone down in the tunnel because we started the second-half with SIXTEEN players on the pitch as the referee gave out red cards apiece after the fracas died down.

Red cards were shown to Subrata, Anas and Belfort of Jamshedpur and Juste, Brandon and Pinheiro of Goa; the biggest shock of all for me there is that Bikey was somehow not involved as he loves a good ruckus. Something else, also, that amazed me was how the official ISL account reported it…

As if it’s bloody business, as usual, no explanation, no nothing. Moving on, with both teams only having eight players on the pitch each, there was, of course, only going to be one winner from there on in. I am, of course, referring to FC Goa as the extra space meant they could penetrate Jamshedpur with ease. Coppell’s side weren’t without the chances of their own in the second-half, but, it was all about an FC Goa side spearheaded by the imperious Coro.

The Ref Was At It Again

Once again, the referee was the centre of attention as he awarded the Gaurs a penalty with just over twenty minutes left; Memo brought down Coro and the ISL’s top goalscorer picked himself up, brushed himself down and calmly converted to leave Jamshedpur a mountain a climb if they wanted to progress to the last four. That, in turn, ensured there was much more space for FC Goa to exploit which is precisely what happened next…  

Only minutes had passed before FC Goa had the ball in the back of the net for the fourth time, but again, it was not meant to be as Mandar was adjudged to be offside. In case you’ve lost track, it’s still only 2-0 to FC Goa. With just over fifteen left to play, Coro was withdrawn as Manvir took his place and he made an immediate impact as he scored to put the game out of Jamshedpur’s reach for sure.

Literally, moments later, Boumous made it four. It was getting rather embarrassing for Coppell’s side now. Edu Bedia set up Boumous for his second and Goa’s fifth with only a minute of normal time left and we even still had time for a Jamshedpur consolation in stoppage time courtesy of Ashim Biswas. That was that, six goals, six red cards and an awful lot of unanswered questions.

Safe To Say Coppell Was Less Than Impressed

Coppell had this to say on the matter after the game…

“You’ll find that throughout the world there are quite a few occasions when there is a scuffle in the tunnel at half-time. But I can’t even think of an occasion where somebody then decides to send three players off from either team.

The officials got to be questioned because the crowd paid to watch a football match 11v11 but because of something they witnessed 8v8. It’s (a) farce to be honest.

It happens fairly regularly that there are scuffles in the tunnel. The referee could have locked the names in his mind of the players he thought were guilty and make a report after a game. Whether it is a referee or a match commissioner who was involved, they don’t really know. I don’t really want to find out. This is something I am sure will be resolved with the fullness of time.

I just feel for the spectators who came to watch a 11v11 match. 1-0 at halftime, they had the edge obviously but there was still a game to be played. They come out and have to watch 8v8 for 45 minutes. If 8v8 was such an attractive game they would start a league 8v8 on a full-length pitch. It’s ridiculous.

I don’t know how we got into that situation and I don’t really want to know. It’s for the officials to sort out. I am sure there will be retribution for the players who have been sent off. I am not sure (if that is) the right punishment.”

In case you’re wondering, Coppell played the ‘Wenger card’ and said he didn’t see it. That aside, he makes some valuable points, however, I think the most valuable point was made by Lobera’s stand-in, Derrick Pereira when he said:

Pereira Made A Valid Point As Well

“Nobody can say what exactly happened there. There were around 30-40 people in a brawl with three players sent off for both of the teams. I was astonished by the way it happened. It must have been difficult for the referee to distinguish from the crowd who was involved and who was not.”

How and why did the referee pick those six players out of ‘30-40’ people? The worst thing is we’ll probably never know. I’m going for a lie down as that has fried my brain, let’s hope for more of the same (?) when Bengaluru face Neroca which incidentally would’ve already been played by the time this is published. Bengaluru win 3-1. You heard it here first.

Until the next time.   

About the Author

Jake Flock
Football and writing are my two biggest passions, so seems right to combine the pair, don't you think?