Margao, Goa: FC Goa were frustrated in their efforts to clinch all three points at home by a resilient yet, dangerous Jamshedpur FC team, who put in a defensive masterclass at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa to end the match in a stalemate. The point helped neither team as they remained where they were before the start of the fixture.
Both teams came into the fixture on the back of successful outings in their last Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) match before the winter break. As a result, the Gaurs decided to go in with the same 11 while the visitors made four alterations to the side that beat Delhi Dynamos 2-1.
The opening exchanges saw both teams trying to feel each other out. Goa had the bulk of early possession, which was perhaps expected. Jackichand Singh picked out a decent cross early in the first half causing all sorts of confusion in the box before being dealt with by Jamshedpur’s defence.
As the first half wore on, the likes of Farukh Choudhary and Cidoncha grew into the match and kept the Goa rear-guard busy. The latter’s curling free-kick in the 26th minute had Mohammad Nawaz scrambling to his right and was the nearest either team went to finding the back of the net in the first half.
Goa commenced the second period with greater attacking impetus and got their key men on the ball. Corominas had a great chance to put his team in front when Brandon Fernandes found him with a pinpoint cutback. The joint all-time Hero ISL top-scorer, however, failed to apply the finishing touch much to the home crowd’s disappointment.
That chance spurred the Gaurs forward and they kept asking questions of the Jamshedpur defence, who led by Tiri, proved equal to the task. Midfielder Arques then had two golden opportunities to score. Arriving late in the box, the Spaniard headed the first of those chances off target in the 63rd minute, although the ball did lack any real pace to work with. The second of those opportunities 10 minutes later was a much easier one as the 27-year-old only had the goalkeeper and net between him. But, uncharacteristically, Arques again failed to hit the target.
With the match in its final 10 minutes, Corominas found space inside the visitor’s box after being picked-out well by Fernandes. The Spaniard outfoxed a couple of defenders and caressed the ball towards goal only for Subrata to get a match-saving hand on it. He was again called into action in the 90th minute when Fernandes deflected his shot towards goal, but like on so many occasions on the night, Subrata stood tall to rescue Jamshedpur.