Bambolim: Jamshedpur FC continued their unbeaten run as they handed ATK Mohun Bagan their second successive defeat, downing the Mariners 2-1 in the Indian Super League (ISL) here on Monday.
The win took Jamshedpur to the second spot as Bagan slumped to fifth place.
Seiminlen Doungel (37’) scored the opener for the Men of Steel with a sublime finish from the right flank. Alex Lima (84’) scored the second after coming on as a substitute late in the second half. Pritam Kotal (89’) pulled one back for the Marines but it was too little too late.
Ashutosh Mehta and Sumit Rathi made their way into the starting line-up for ATK Bagan. As for Jamshedpur FC, Peter Hartley started the game against the Mariners with Pronay Halder also taking the field. Owen Coyle fielded a 4-4-2 formation while Antonio Lopes Habas chose his tried and tested 3-4-3 formation.
As the match started, Eli Sabia straightaway went into the referee’s book by getting a yellow card in the fourth minute. In the 33rd minute, Amrinder Singh saved a powerful left-footed low curling shot from Greg Stewart from the right flank. Moments later, Doungel found space on the edge of the box at the right flank and made no mistake in hitting the ball past Amrinder’s right side to give JFC the lead.
Roy Krishna looked to have scored the equaliser in the 40th minute. His shot from a narrow-angle escaped TP Rehenesh’s grip and was rolling inside the goal but Eli Sabia was quick to react and cleared the ball from the line. Just before half-time, Boris Singh replaced the goalscorer Doungel who had to leave the pitch after suffering an ankle injury.
Krishna received a yellow card for a challenge on Hartley which left the latter in some pain.
The second half got off to a cagey start with both teams struggling to create clear scoring chances. On the hour mark, Habas brought on Prabir Das (for Rathi) and David Williams (for McHugh) to instil more energy and fresh legs on the pitch. A brilliant volley from Jitendra Singh in the 67th minutewas blocked bravely by an ATKMB defender.
There was a huge controversy after Halder brought down Hugo Boumous who was marauding towards the goal unchallenged. He got a yellow card for the offence and Boumos also received a yellow card for pushing Halder in retaliation for the tackle. Stewart and Rehenesh then received yellow cards for causing unnecessary delay in the proceedings.
Alex Lima took his place on the pitch from the bench, replacing Stewart and the Brazilian scored within seconds after entering the field. A left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty box towards the left side of Amrinder gave the latter no chance of saving it.
Later, Rehenesh made a good save of a cross from the left flank inside the box but his clearance hit Ashutosh Mehta. Kotal lunged ahead to put the ball inside the back of the net. JFC appealed for an offside but the referee awarded the goal.
Jordan Murray and Narender Gahlot also made short cameos from the bench before the final whistle. Owen Coyle’s men defended their lead resolutely and secured an important win over last year’s runners-up.