Jamshedpur FC managed to snatch a point from Hyderabad FC as the teams played out a 1-1 draw in their third match in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday at the Tilak Maidan, Goa.
Aridane Santana handed the lead to the home team in the 50th minute but Stephen Eze’s equaliser in the 85th minute sealed a point for the Men of Steel.
Both teams underwent a few changes in their lineups from their previous encounters. Manuel Marquez made four changes in the Hyderabad starting XI as Laxmikant Kattimani, Hitesh Sharma, Mohammed Yasir and Liston Colaco were given the nod ahead of Subrata Paul, Lluis Sastre, Joel Chianese and Nikhil Poojari. Meanwhile, Owen Coyle replaced a suspended Rehenesh TP with Pawan Kumar and Isaac Vanmalawma with Amarjit Singh.
It was a cagey start to the match as both teams took a safety-first approach. As the game progressed Hyderabad grew into the game in spite of them playing with just three overseas players. They were dominating proceedings and were frequently venturing into the attacking third but lacked the final pass which would split open the backline.
Interestingly, the first significant chance of the match fell for Coyle’s men when Jackichand Singh came close to scoring but his attempted shot was palmed out by Kattimani.
But the best opportunity of the half was carved out by Hyderabad’s Halicharan Narzary when the winger shrugged away Dinliana and fired in a curler from the left side of the penalty box. The keeper was beaten but the ball hit the wrong side of the far post before going out of play.
Hyderabad took an early lead in the second half thanks to some sloppy goalkeeping by Pawan Kumar. Hitesh Sharma sent a long ball for Halicharan, who cut in from the left inside the box and attempted a shot on goal. Pawan unconvincingly slapped the ball away from going in but Aridane pushed the rebound ball into the net.
Jamshedpur were denied a genuine goal in the 76th minute when Kattiman’s attempt to fist Aitor Monroy’s free-kick hit Aridane and went in. But the linesman flagged Peter Hartley offside and ruled out the goal. The replays though suggested the Jamshedpur skipper was in no way in an offside position.
The Men of Steel finally restored parity in the game in the 85th minute thanks to a thunderous strike from Stephen Eze. Valskis initiated the move with a cross which Adil Khan cleared but the ball fell to Monroy who set up for Eze to shoot and the Nigerian found the back of the net.
In the dying moments of the match, Hyderabad manager Manuel Marquez was sent off for allegedly stepping on to the field of play.
The Nizams moved up to the fourth position on the league table with five points from three matches while Jamshedpur climbed up to the eighth position with two points from three games.