Goa, Jamshedpur settle for draw

FC Goa's Eduardo Bedia Pelaez (second from left) and Emerson Gomes de Moura of Jamshedpur FC (third from right) vie for possession during their ISL game on Monday. SPORTZPICS

FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC did their Indian Super League qualification chances neither good nor bad as they played a goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.

A hard-fought 90 minutes showcased the teams’ quality on the ball but the defence stood strong to deny goals at either end of the field. A point each for Goa and Jamshedpur helped them maintain their position on the ISL table. Goa have 21 points from 12 games and are fourth while playoff rivals Jamshedpur remain fifth with 20 points from 13 matches.

The Spanish influence was on display in the way both teams started the game as the midfielders contested for the ball with a desire to build attacks.

Jamshedpur’s patient passing and prodding took a turn for the worse when Brandon Fernandes picked up the ball at the halfway line and threaded a perfectly weighted through-ball for Jackichand Singh on the right flank in the 18th minute.

With the visitors’ backline holding a high defensive line, the winger surged into the box but was dispossessed by Dhanachandra Singh whose excellent sliding tackle averted danger.

The teams continued to prefer possession over penetration but could not break the deadlock before the break.

Ferran Corominas, who struggled due to a lack of service in the first half, drifted wide and delivered a threatening cross from the right flank in the 53rd minute. Jackichand latched onto it inside the box but blazed his effort wide.

Goa continued to threaten from wide areas as only two minutes later, Hugo Boumous left Brandon’s low cross from the left flank for Corominas who had made an unmarked run towards the centre of the box. However, the Spaniard failed to connect.

Jamshedpur had a chance of their own in the 63rd minute when Robin Gurung found space on the overlap and provided a neat cut-back from the right flank for an unmarked Mario Arques in the centre of the box. The midfielder, however, could not keep his header on target.

There were close shaves at both ends as the second half wore on. In the 71st minute, Farukh Choudhary pounced on a failed clearance to swing a teasing cross from the right flank for Arques who struck the ball over the bar with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Substitute and debutant Zaid Krouch went close a minute later for Goa. The forward was sent through on goal after a series of neat passes by the hosts in midfield but he sent his shot straight at Jamshedpur custodian Subrata Paul.

Corominas took it upon himself in the 84th minute to help Goa find a late winner. The striker skipped past a couple of challenges inside the box before getting a shot away but Subrata showed a strong pair of hands to keep it out.

The Jamshedpur custodian was at it again late on to brilliantly keep out Brandon’s close-range effort from Manvir Singh’s low cross. However, there would be no winner on the night despite Goa laying siege to the Jamshedpur goal towards the end.

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Goa, Jamshedpur settle for draw

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