Sometimes in life, you have every right to be a smug bastard. That’s yours truly as I’m typing this. You’ll recall in the last of the reports that I did yesterday, I said that Jamshedpur would win on penalties against Minerva and lo and behold they did! Now, that specific article where I claimed it would happen didn’t get published until the game itself was about to kick-off so it could be argued that perhaps I tampered with the article and to be fair, I wouldn’t put it past me, either. Nevertheless, something you can’t alter (unless I’m mistaken) is a tweet. So here is what I said in all its glory…
Jamshedpur on penalties.
— 🧐 (@1312J_) April 2, 2018
Where is Subrata?
I suppose we should also look at the action rather than just bask in my own glory, so let’s see what happened… Surprisingly, Jamshedpur were without regular goalkeeper Subrata, the reason why it’s so surprising is down to the fact that the Jamshedpur Twitter touched on him not too long before the game. Or it might have been the ISL twitter.
Anyway, moving swiftly on. His deputy, Sanjiban Ghosh, was absolutely unbelievable which speaks testament of Jamshedpur’s coaching setup (shameless plug incoming) and we were lucky enough to speak to their goalkeeping coach, Bobby Mimms earlier this year; you can catch that here.
Apart from Subrata, Jamshedpur were pretty much at full strength, with the exception of Tiri. I’m not entirely sure where he was as he was listed in the list of foreign players but didn’t even feature on the bench, so as seems to be the case with this tournament, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.
In terms of the game itself, it was an enthralling encounter, as far as 0-0s go, anyway. With the pattern of play, it could be argued that Minerva deserved to progress, however, more often than not, Steve Coppell rules supreme in knockout games. Minerva’s main threat came from Chenco Gyeltshen and if he possessed more composure, he could have given the I-League champions the lead on more than one occasion.
As the story goes, neither team could break the other down and it boiled down to which team could hold their nerve from twelve yards out. The answer, Jamshedpur.
When Memo failed to convert Jamshedpur’s third penalty, the ascendancy was with Minerva, Moinuddin Khan fluffed his lines though. Nonetheless, Minerva had another chance when Jairu missed his spot-kick and with the game in sudden death at that point, all Kiran Chemjong had to do was beat Sanjiban Ghosh and that would be the end of that. He couldn’t, Mehtab Hossain converted and the rest, as they say, is history.
Naturally, Coppell was quick to lavish praise on the majestic Sanjiban:
“All year he (Sanjiban Ghosh) has been a terrific understudy for Subrata (Paul). He has worked very hard on a daily basis. Tonight was just reward for his hard work. He made some magnificent saves tonight. He has worked really hard. He didn’t get a chance until tonight. Terrific individual goalkeeping performance.”
In usual Coppell fashion, he had something to moan about!
“It Should Be A Test Of Skill”
“At this stage of the season for both leagues, extra-time is not really necessary. The penalties are exciting. When it gets to extra time, people just have no strength left. It shouldn’t be an endurance test; it should be a test of skill. 90 minutes is enough to decide.”
He’s got a point…
“If at the end of 90 minutes it’s all square then straight to penalties because there can be too many players who can injure themselves for the long-term and it’s the clubs who suffer. I hope the league, the federation will see a little bit of common sense in the future and make it 90 minutes and then straight into penalties.”
Nothing from the Minerva gaffer which is a bit strange, or I’m not looking hard enough, either way, that’s your lot for today. FC Goa vs ATK today and if Goa can get going, they’ll smash them, although they are without Ahmed Jahouh, so we’ll see how they get on and I’ll be back with the report tomorrow.
Until the next time.