It was a packed house at The Furnace with 21,350 people ready to witness a Friday night encounter between Jamshedpur FC & Mumbai City FC. The referee had a big call to make in the second minute of the game after Lucain Goian bought down Jerry in the box the referee waved play on. The home team applied a lot of pressure on the Islanders with Belfort Azuka combining well to setup Jerry whose shot was way over the goal.
At the other end, the Islanders had a chance of their own as Achille Emana drilled a shot just wide off the goal from a Thiago Santos pass on the edge of the box. Jamshedpur FC, the home side were dominating the game the crowd were making themselves heard with every attacking move. In the first 15 minutes itself, Jamshedpur FC had chances plenty but the Islanders defence stood strong to keep them away from the opening goal.
Captain, Lucian Goian was involved in the next attack as he put a cross into the box after a clearance fell to him but Jamshedpur cleared the danger away. What followed next was a fantastic strike from our 22-year old Brazilian winger, Thiago Santos as he dribbled past the Jamshedpur FC defence let fly a curling past Subrata Paul in into the top corner. It was his 3rd goal of the campaign a sensational one too. The Islanders silenced the home crowd with the opening goal.
The home side responded back creating a few chances of their own but the Islanders defence cleared their dangers away. Raju Gaikwad had to be subbed off after he pulled up was replaced by midfielder Zakeer Mundampara. Belfort kept pushing the home team ahead with good runs had a chance in the box but his shot went way over the crossbar. It surely was a let off for the Islanders who were soaking the pressure.
The equalizer didn’t take long as a cross from Jerry found space on the right side sent a cross into the box that fell to Belfort but his shot was blocked by Wadoo. Izu Azuka was there to grab his opportunity slot the ball into the net. It was Jamshedpur FC’s first goal from open play the crowd erupted at the stadium.
Into stoppage time of the first half, Jerry once again found himself free on the right side inside the box drilled a cross that was finished brilliantly by Izu Azuka, once again. The home side turned the game on its heads with two goals in quick succession, all the hard work by the Islanders was undone. Going into the break, it was a good display of football with both sides entertaining the crowd at the Furnace.
The second half began with Jamshedpur FC continuing to apply the pressure on the Islanders with attack after attack. The Islanders kept players behind the ball as the home side were all over the place but some strong defending saw them keep the score at 2-1. Mehtab Hossain was stretchered off in the 61st minute that slowed down the tempo of the game, which was much needed for the Islanders.
He came back after receiving treatment got booked for a tackle on goal-scorer, Thiago Santos. In the 66th minute, Everton Santos went for an overhead kick at goal that went just over the crossbar, which could have been a spectacular one had it gone in. That chance surely gave the Islanders a push to attack as Thiago played Ruidas on the left flank with the defence opened up, he put in a cross but couldn’t find any target in the box.
With just 20 minutes to go, Everton Santos turned the provider once again as his sublime low cross was met by Thiago Santos who finished perfectly to the right of Subrata, it was game on at the JRD Tata Sports Complex with the scores tied at 2-2. Both teams made substituions for fresh legs as Marcio Rozario replaced Everton Santos who had 2 assists to his name. Ashim Biswas Bikash Jairu came on for Jerry Mawhmingthanga Shouvik Ghosh as they pushed for the win.
Both the goalkeepers were called into action as Achille Emana took a shot from distance that was well saved by a diving Subrata Paul to his left. Minutes later, Belfort tested Amrinder Singh with a left footed shot which Amrinder Singh kept out. In the 87th minute, Leo Costa came on for his second appearance off the bench in as many games as he replaced Achille Emana who put up another stellar show on the field.
Jamshedpur FC captain, Tiri made a crucial interception to deny a through ball to Balwant Singh in the 90th minute the keeper held the ball safely. JFC won a free-kick in the 95th minute of the game after Balwant Singh fouled Souvik Chakrabarti was shown the yellow card. Bikash Jairu took it but Amrinder Singh collected the ball with ease that was the final bit of action at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
It was a hard-fought encounter the boys showed real grit determination to win a crucial point away from home. Up next is a home game on 14th January against Kerala Blasters FC at the Arena the Islanders will be keen to continue their 3-match unbeaten run.