A goal in the last ten minutes saw Jamshedpur enter the top four at the expense of FC Goa yesterday in a game that could have gone either way. If you look at the stats in isolation, Mumbai should have won comfortably as they had more of the ball, more shots, more passes, so on and so forth, but, Steve Coppell has got a knack of setting his teams up to play on the counter-attack and that’s exactly what the ‘Men Of Steel’ did here.
Coppell must have finally started reading my musings about his side as he started Bikey and Tiri, however, he also started Anas as well, so Bikey played in front of the pairing of Tiri and Anas and he was instrumental in their win, however, the best player for Jamshedpur was Subrata Paul in goal, which tells you all you need to know about the way the game went. Both sides came into the game on the back of impressive away wins, Mumbai coming away victorious from Goa and Jamshedpur taking the spoils from Kolkata as they defeated ATK. Let’s have a look at how it all played out…
Nearly in one end, straight in the other
Contrary to the what stats would have you believe, Jamshedpur had the first real sight of goal as Azuka had a shot tipped around the post by Amrinder in what was a half that had very little action in comparison to the second. Nevertheless, we’ll run through both halves, ‘cos we’re nice like that! The first half mainly revolved around half chances and what have you and we’re not going to go on about them too much because I’ll be here all day and you undoubtedly want something that is concise as opposed to a load of dross.
The wonderfully named Marcelo Rosario had the next attempt on goal which is worth writing about as his free kick went past the post by the finest of margins. Literally centimetres. As Mumbai’s luck was seemingly evading them, at the other end, Jamshedpur were about to have a massive slice of luck. To be fair to Choudhary, he did all the hard work as he made a mockery of Mumbai’s defence with a very direct burst into the area and instead of finishing it himself, which would have been a superb solo goal, he miskicked it. Ultimately, the ball hit Rosario and went towards the goal before Sanju Pradhan inadvertently hit the ball into the roof of the net, I thought it was already over the line so the own goal should have gone to Rosario, but everywhere else is giving to Pradhan, so who are we to disagree?
Possession Means Nothing
Pradhan’s own goal happened with only seven minutes left in the first half, so not an awful lot of time to make amends. Sahil Tavora nearly did just that though as he forced Subrata into his first of many saves. The half-time whistle went not too long after that though and Jamshedpur went into the break with a one-goal advantage that they scarcely deserved. To give you some idea, Mumbai had 58% of the ball in the first half and completed 63 more passes than Jamshedpur. Possession and passes don’t win you games, as Guimaraes was about to find out.
Thiago Santos was the one causing Jamshedpur the problems at the beginning of the second half but instead of putting his foot through the ball like he should have done, he seemingly tried to walk it into the net and ended up losing the ball. Chance missed. The next couple of chances fell to the normally reliable Balwant, both of them headers, both crosses which came in from the right. Firstly, his header was going for the top corner but Subrata pulled off what can only be described as a flying slow motion saved as he denied Balwant. It was a brilliant save, yet, it wasn’t the best in the game. More on that soon. The second header should have gone in. In fact, I’m still in shock that it didn’t, Subrata was drawn to his near post, the ball went to Balwant, he had the majority of the goal gaping, but he put it wide. My, oh my, what a chance.
Subrata Has Magic Hands
Subrata was winning the battle with Balwant and he did just enough to prevent him for putting an easy chance away from a rebound after Sanju Pradhan almost made amends for his earlier own goal when he hit a rasping drive along the deck towards the bottom right-hand corner. Somehow, I’m still not sure now, Subrata tipped it onto the post, that was the save of the game for me. Although, Subrata’s work was far from done.
Coppell’s side had a rare opening through Jerry, but, his composure or rather his lack of it let him down as he hit it straight at the keeper. It would be an opportunity that Jamshedpur would rue moments later as the Santos Twins (I know they’re not twins, but it sounds cool) combined to draw Mumbai level. A Thiago corner from the left was met at the near post by his namesake, Everton and on reflection, for all his good work during the game, Subrata should have done better. He should have been braver and just gone for it. 1-1 with just over ten minutes left.
In the 81st minute, Bikash Jairu was brought on. In the 84th minute, he scored. It was only one of about five touches that he had during the time he was on, he made it count though. The goal all stemmed from the unlikeliest of sources as Bikey popped up in the most unusual positions in the final third, nonetheless if he can produce balls like this into the box, he’ll be invited up there more often as he put it on a plate for Belfort. Amrinder denied him with his feet, the same cards wouldn’t be dealt to Jairu though as he finished first time. Game. Set. Match.
The ‘Men Of Steel’ closed the game off after the goal, did they deserve it? Probably not. Did they score more goals than the opposition? Yes. Mumbai were too feeble at the back and it cost them. Subrata wins the man of the match, though. Another thoroughly entertaining game in the ISL. It’s actually getting rather good now!