10-man Jamshedpur FC held Mumbai City FC 1-1 in an entertaining Indian Super League (ISL) match at the GMC Stadium tonight. An early Nerijus Valskis goal was cancelled out by Bart Ogbeche’s strike in a match which saw Jamshedpur midfielder Aitor Monroy sent off in the 28th minute.
The match started off with a bang. Nerijus Valskis gave Jamshedpur the lead in the 9th minute from a Jackichand Singh pass after the latter had latched on to a lazy misspass from Ogbeche. The Lithuanian took a first-time shot that gave Amrinder Singh no chance (1-0). However, Mumbai City regathered their thoughts and started creating dangerous situations using the clever movement of Ogbeche and Adam Le Fondre.
Both the strikers seemed to play off one another with one coming in from a slightly deeper position. This dragged Peter Hartley and Stephen Eze time and again before the breakthrough finally came in the 15th minute. Le Fondre found some space down the left and slipped in a cheeky pass for Bipin Singh. Bipin laid it first-time for Ogbeche who opened his body up and side-footed it home past TP Rehenesh (1-1).
Soon, there was a new talking point as Aitor Monroy was shown a second yellow for lunging at Rowlin Borges and not getting the ball. Although it was a somewhat harsh second booking, there was a sense of poetic justice as it was the Spaniard who had gotten Eugeneson Lyngdoh off in the previous match through his animated gesturing and calls for a card to be shown to the India veteran.
Mumbai City tightened their fists around the game after that. An elaborate corner routine ended with Ahmed Jahouh’s shot just over. Then at the stroke of half time, Mohammad Rakip’s grounded cross down the right was met by Ogbeche again whose shot was saved swiftly by Rehenesh. Owen Coyle’s men had started with almost a 4-4-2 with William Lalnunfela in support of Valskis but had to adjust after the red card.
As Valskis grew frustrated at getting isolated upfront, Mumbai City went ahead and created a number of chances. Bipin Singh got the better of right back Karan Amin and his low cross was met again by Ogbeche. His shot however went well wide this time. Then Rowlin Borges fluffed the best chance of the match when he blazed wide from inside the 6-yard box following a corner.
Jamshedpur were growing in confidence and carved out a few chances of their own. Jackichand Singh’s shot was tipped over by Amrinder while Valskis and William also went close. The 2019-20 Golden Boot winner finally thought he had scored the winner but was adjudged offside following a sweeping move down the left that saw the ball fall at his feet. Another Jahouh shot was saved brilliantly by an unsighted Rehenesh while Ogbeche fired another one of his headers wide.
In the end, the draw was testament of the spirit that Jamshedpur FC showed throughout the match. They had started the game well and pressed Mumbai City relentlessly. Even after going down to ten men, they adjusted really well and kept the Mumbai attackers at bay. Peter Hartley and Stephen Eze were both immense on the night, especially Eze who won almost everything in the air.
Sergio Lobera wouldn’t be happy with a draw after playing with a man-advantage for more than an hour. However, he would take solace in the fact that they are still three points clear at the top. They face Hyderabad FC next. On the other hand, Owen Coyle would be pleased with the grit shown by his side who are now 6th in the table and play NorthEast United in their next match.