The third game from season eight of the Indian Super League saw SC East Bengal face-off against Jamshedpur FC. The two outfits ended the night on even terms with a 1-1 scoreline. Goals from Franjo Prce and Peter Hartley made sure the points were shared between the two clubs.
Owen Coyle's men were solid in the second half and showed glimpses of their attacking prowess. However, the Red Miners lacked quality in the final third. As for Manolo Diaz, his first taste of ISL football saw his team come away with a point. The Red & Gold Brigade showed several signs of improvement and they look more determined this season than the last.
The match had many highlights, if not goals. Both teams were evenly matched and there were important points of discussion from the fixture. Here are the top-five talking points from the draw between SC East Bengal and Jamshedpur FC:
Attack-minded team selection need of the hour by Jamshedpur FC
Nerijus Valskis was the sole attacking option fielded by Owen Coyle against an SC East Bengal team there for the taking. The opponents had two debutant defenders and the Red Miners should have started on the front foot. Players like Greg Stewart, Jordan Murray should also start given their attacking pedigree.
Coyle can make way for a foreigner slot by playing Narender Gahlot in the center-back position to bring on an extra foreign attacker. Lack of attacking intent and over-reliance on Nerijus Valskis could be the team's downfall this season.
SC East Bengal look a well-built unit
SC East Bengal will have a stronger season than the previous one as early signs indicate. The Indian talent at the club is of better quality and the foreign acquisition has a strategy behind it. The balance in the squad is way better than last season which will hopefully help the outfit finish better than the 10th place finish in season seven of the league.Squad looks prepared and a proper preseason has helped the team develop good chemistry, everything that was missing last term under Robbie Fowler. More importantly, Manolo Diaz's Spanish touch was very visible in the gameplay from SCEB who were making crisp passes and there was a lot of off-the-ball movement as support.
Set-pieces are an asset for the Men of Steel
Jamshedpur FC scored 52% of their goals from set-pieces last season. There was no surprise to see them score their first goal of this season from a set-piece situation as well. Peter Hartley latched on to a header from Nerijus Valskis to score the equalizer from a corner kick.
It is safe to say that JFC relies a lot on set-piece situations. Alex Lima is a great service provider from a dead-ball situation and tall figures like Valskis, Eli Sabia and Hartley provide good targets to trouble the opposition. One can expect Coyle's men to score plenty of goals from aerial situations but it also makes them predictable.
Antonio Perosevic is an impactful signing
Before the ball started rolling, there were huge expectations from Daniel Chima Chukwu. Rather, it was Perosevic who was the most impressive forward for the Red & Gold Brigade. The 29-year-old attacker showed brilliant movement with the ball and cruise control while dribbling. His tendency to take on defenders was a very positive sign.
The Croatian combined well with his teammates despite it being his first appearance in the ISL. He created three chances, took three shots with one on target and attempted three crosses as well. A wonderful overall performance from the Croatian who was making his debut tonight.