JFC shocker for Bengaluru

JFC shocker for Bengaluru

Stephen Eze of Jamshedpur FC celebrates after scoring against Benfgaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Monday. Sportzpics

Stephen Eze’s 79th minute header condemned Bengaluru FC to their second defeat in two games as they went down 1-0 to Jamshedpur FC in their Indian Super League clash at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday.

With the win, JFC climbed to third spot in the table, a point over Bengaluru. 

Owen Coyle’s men toiled hard, did their fair share of damage and rode out Bengaluru’s pressure before finally getting their goal 11 minutes from time. For a team that conceded most of their goals late into the game, the fortunes changed on the day.

Just when the game looked like it was heading towards an entertaining draw, Eze threw himself at Aniket Jhadav’s cross to turn the ball in. 

Having said that, either side of the goal, it was a game that the goalkeepers dominated.

Bengaluru FC’s Gurpreet Singh Sandhu stood tall under the bar while Jamshedpur custodian TP Rehenesh continued his resurgent season with yet another noteworthy performance.

Rehenesh was called on to action right off the bat when he was forced to deny Kristian Opseth’s freekick from nestling in the net. 

At the half hour mark he was called into action, jumping at the feet of Cleiton Silva, showing remarkable bravery, to deny the Brazilian from taking a shot. He was at it again, stopping Rahul Bheke’s header late in the game when BFC were pushing for an equaliser.

At the other end, Gurpreet had to react fast to deny Jackichand Singh’s header at the break and then pulled off an even better save in the second half, reacting quickly to turn away a Peter Hartley effort. The second save was made all the more impressive as the Indian number 1 saw the shot, taken amidst a crowd of players, late.

For Bengaluru, Suresh Wangjam remained the lone spark.

The midfielder was at the heart of all the chances Carles Cuadrat’s men created. It was the 20-year-old’s driving runs that produced Silva’s chance and another for Sunil Chhetri, who flashed his shot narrowly wide, in quick succession.

It was the midfielder again who exchanged passes with the captain to carve out a chance which was stopped by some last ditch defending. 

BFC’s frontline disappointed once again as they failed to create goal-scoring opportunities and worryingly their foreign strikers - Opseth and Deshorn Brown - remain goalless.

That said, BFC can take heart from their defensive performance as Juanan and Co. kept Nerijus Valskis, one of the league’s top marksman, and Alexandre Lima quiet for the most part.