Jamshedpur beats Hyderabad 1-0 to make it five wins in a row
The league winners of last season Jamshedpur hosted the defending champions Hyderabad at the ‘Furnace’ on Wednesday. Manolo Marquez’s men made it five wins in a row, courtesy of Mohammad Yasir’s goal shortly after the restart.
It was a game of two halves, the Men of Steel dominated the first half, but were punished for their slack finishing, thus resulting in their second consecutive defeat.
It was a bright start for the hosts who tested Laxikant Kattimani with a snapshot. Harry Sawyer returned to the starting XI this week after starting on the bench last time out, and he played Boris Singh Thangjam who had a crack at goal but Kattimani had it covered.
Known for bossing the possession, the visitors also started well as they moved the ball around nicely with quick short interchanges. Hitesh Sharma made a good save as Boris got past Nikhil Poojary and sent a cross from the byline but the cutback was intercepted.
The first big chance of the contest came to the home side. It all began from a long throw which fell kindly to Sawyer, whose headed cross was met by Daniel Chima Chukwu but he was denied by Kattimani twice as he kept the ball from crossing the line by the slightest of margins.
The Red Miners were forced into an early change as PC Laldinpuia went down after a scrap in the midfield and had to be replaced by Farukh Choudhary.
Sawyer then went on to chase a long ball and crashed into Kattimani who was out swiftly and came off worse in the collision. The custodian received some treatment and was okay to continue as the referee deemed it a foul and awarded a free kick to the Nizams.
Although the veteran Indian keeper couldn’t continue for long and had to be stretchered off after another coming together of sorts with Sawyer. 24-year-old Anuj Kumar came on to make his league debut.
After conceding early against Goa last weekend, Aidy Boothroyd did a great job making his side much more resolute in defense, keeping the visitors at bay, although they enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas impressed for the home side and was heavily involved with his intricate play, through passes and long throws, only the hosts had failed to make those chances count.
Due to the multiple injuries and stop-starts, five minutes were added at the end of the first half. Marquez’s men had a rare opportunity to attack but Pratik Chaudhari made a good block from Joao Victor’s attempt. Bartholomew Ogbeche got on to the end of the resulting corner first, but his glancing header went wide off the goalpost.
Sawyer subsequently collected a booking after intentionally pulling Akash Mishra, which proved to be the final action of the first half. The home side began the second half just as they started the match with Boris testing the visitors’ defence a couple of times, but instead, the Nizams sucker-punched their opponents shortly after.
Ogbeche got on the end of a pass from Hitesh which he controlled expertly and fed to Halicharan Narzary. While the Men of Steel dealt with the initial cross, the ball fell kindly to Mohammad Yasir who unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the box to get his side in the driving seat.
Boothroyd’s men were not deflated and instead tried to get back at level pegging, Chukwu got his angles all wrong as he could not direct his effort goalwards after some good work from Sawyer who got the better of Akash.
The Nizams almost nearly doubled their lead shortly after as Victor stole the ball near the opposition’s box and played a through pass to Narzary who crossed for Ogbeche but his attempt was blocked by the home side’s defence.
Six minutes after the hour mark, another opportunity came the Nigerian’s way whose headed effort went narrowly past the woodwork after a teasing cross from Poojari.
The Red Miners kept knocking at the door as Peter’s effort was well saved by Anuj. Boris intercepted the ball in the midfield and beat a couple of defenders with a smooth dribble to pass down the ball from the wing, but Hartley couldn’t find the back of the net.
The youngster collected a booking on his debut after he fumbled to collect a headed-back pass from Odei, under pressure from Ishan Pandita. In his attempts to make up for his mistake, Anuj handled the ball outside the box, but the home side couldn’t make it count.
Another chance to equalise went begging as Boris took on two defenders but lost control and the ball went out of play after being deflected from Pandita’s foot. The Indian forward squandered the best chance of the game for Hartley and Co, he got on the end of a long ball, with just the keeper to beat, but blazed his effort well wide of the mark.