The Islanders suffered a setback in their hopes to get into the top 4 as Jamshedpur FC ran out 2-1 winners at the Arena. Bikash Jairu’s winner in the 84th minute cancelled out Everton Santos’ equalizer as the Islanders slumped to a 3rd consecutive home defeat.
The first chance of the game fell to Achille Emana after Everton Santos had won a free-kick for the Islanders, although Tiri was there to clear the danger from it. Custodian, Amrinder Singh had to make a smart save with his legs to deny Farukh Choudhary as he tried to slot it past his near post.
In the 12th minute, Farukh was involved again as his pass set-up Izu Azuka outside the box his left footed shot went wide off the goal. Emana stepped up for the Islanders by opening up the Jamshedpur defence to find Balwant but Anas got back in time to deny the striker his 7th goal of the season.
A couple of minutes later, Balwant tested Subrata Paul with a curling effort from the edge of the box as he made a comfortable save. In the 26th minute, Emana found space in the box on the right side tested Subrata but his shot lacked pace as he held on to the ball. At the half hour mark, Souvik Chakrabarti was shown a yellow card after he stopped Thiago’s dazzling run.
Marcio Rozario stepped up but his effort from 30 yards out was just inches from going into the right bottom corner giving us the lead. The Islanders kept pushing in numbers, Everton Santos put in a dangerous cross across the frame of the goal but there was no one to finish it off.
In the 38th minute, Jamshedpur FC took the lead from a Sanju Pradhan own goal after Farukh’s off target shot hit Marcio Rozario. The ball was heading in the goal but Sanju tried to clear it went into the roof of the net.
The visitors went into the break with a one goal lead after the Islanders dominated proceedings. In the first chance of the second half, Thiago Santos had a big chance after he was through on goal but he delayed his shot the defender cleared the ball away for a corner. The Islanders were trying to play a patient game to break down the league’s best defence by having more possession.
Thiago had another big opportunity to equalize after a counter-attack from the Islanders saw Balwant Singh put in a low cross to find him, the Brazilian connected but it struck Subrata the ball went behind. Just 2 minutes later, Balwant Singh’s powerful header from Sanju’s cross was going towards the top corner but Subrata made a save to keep the lead intact for Jamshedpur FC.
In the 61st minute, Balwant Singh met the ball with his head but it was off target with an open goal there for the taking. Emana fed Sanju with a pass inside the box, the winger hit a powerful shot at goal, he was denied by a fingertip save from a diving Subrata Paul as the struck the post.
After being at the end of numerous chances, Jamshedpur FC had an opportunity to double the lead. Jerry Mawihmingthanga was one-on-one with Amrinder Singh but the goalkeeper stood tall made a fine save to keep the Islanders in the game. The Islanders finally had their equalizer after knocking constantly on the door, Everton Santos found the back of the net in the 79th minute after some luck from a Thiago Santos corner for his 5th goal of the season.
The lead was short lived as Jamshedpur took the lead in the 84th minute, Andre Bikey put a cross from the right found an unmarked Kervens Belfort, his close range shot was saved well by Amrinder Singh. The rebound fell to the substitute, Bikash Jairu who finished his opportunity to give the visitors a crucial second goal.
It was surely a disappointing night for the Islanders as they failed to beat Jamshedpur FC in an important game at the Arena. They remain in 6th position with 17 points from 13 games will take on neighbours, FC Pune City in the Maharashtra Derby on 11th February.