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Hard worker Jamshedpur takes on Bengaluru


Jamshedpur made full use of Bengaluru’s left flank and this is a concern for Carles Cuadrat…

Before heading to Monday’s 2020-2021 Indian Super League (ISL) game, Bengaluru and Jamshedpur were the two most disciplined teams in the league this season.

During the match however, they committed a combined total of 24 fouls and recorded 38 steals. The intensity displayed by both teams was so high that it became too difficult to pick a winner until Stephen Eze headed into the game’s only goal in the 79th minute.

Bengaluru and Jamshedpur had many chances that were wasted. There were nine shots on target in a 1-0 result.

The teams were equal in all areas of the pitch. Cleiton Silva and Sunil Chhetri created scoring chances on one end and Nerijus Valskis and Aniket Jadhav worked hard on the other end. Dimas Delgado tried to take control of the midfield but Aitor Monroy wanted the ball just as much.

The impressive Suresh covered the whole field throughout the game for the Blues but Alex Lima did the same for the Men of Steel as well. The game had a goalless draw written all over despite the number of transitions and chances both teams had. The goalkeepers also played their roles to perfection – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and TP Rehenesh did their jobs extremely well to keep the game goalless for 79 minutes.

Teams needed a brilliant game to make a difference and that came from Aniket Jadhav who continued his impressive form as a winger. From the right flank, Aniket delivered an excellent cross into the box for Eze who beat his marker and scored his third goal of the season on a night when Valskis disappeared in front of goal.

Jamshedpur slowly transforms into an Owen Coyle team full of fighting and desire to win matches. Last season’s Chennaiyin had that fire in their stomachs that champions need and close games are the ones who decide the table.

With three points in the bag, Jamshedpur passed Bengaluru in third place in the table but the Blues have a game in hand. The Men of Steel, if they can find goals without Valskis, are a dangerous team to face.

It was not for the first time that Bengaluru had missed a point in an ISL game this season. They continued to miss the final delivery or arrival with their movements and it cost them once more. Much like Eze scored a late winner, he would have been Sunil Chhetri or Miku on the other end in a similar setting a few years ago, but their forwards have yet to show that killer instinct week after week.

Young Indian midfielder Suresh Wangjam, Erik Paartalu and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu were their best players. The way Jamshedpur targeted makeshift left-back Rahul Bheke in the absence of injured Ashique Kuruniyan must also be of concern to Carles Cuadrat. The game-winning goal also came from this flank. New signing and former Chennai City player Ajith Kumar can play at left-back and he made his first appearance of the season as a substitute on Monday.

As it stands, Jamshedpur looks ready for the top four and Bengaluru is yet to reach the expected level.