A 10-man Jamshedpur FC overcame the odds and put up a spirited fight to defeat Odisha FC 2-1 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Tuesday.
Farukh Choudhary broke the deadlock in the 17th minute fortuitously, but the lead was put in danger by a red card that Bikash Jairu picked up with 10 minutes to go for the half-time whistle. Aridane Santana stuck soon after to restore parity for Odisha FC but a fighting second-half culminated in Sergio Castel finding a winner in the 85th minute for the hosts.
The teams looked to get on the scoresheet early and it were Odisha FC that threatened first. Xisco Hernandez fed Jerry Mawhmingthanga down the right flank and the winger’s floating cross was headed just wide by Aridane Santana.
Odisha continued to push and went close again four minutes later. Xisco split the Jamshedpur defence to send Jerry free down the right flank but the former Jamshedpur winger’s curling effort ricocheted off the post.
Fortune, however, favoured Jamshedpur as they eased into a one-goal lead in the 17th minute. Noe Acosta found Farukh Choudhary in space on the right flank and the Indian forward’s drilled effort into the box took a deflection off defender Rana Gharami and bulged the net.
Jamshedpur bossed the midfield after scoring the opening goal but Odisha’s efforts to get back into the game were helped by a straight red card for Bikash Jairu. With Jerry getting in behind the defence and having just the goalkeeper to beat in the 35th minute, Jairu slid in and brought the 22-year-old down.
The visitors made the most of the one-man advantage and equalised five minutes later. Jerry was influential again as he sent a low cross into the centre from the right for Santana who produced a stunning first-time strike to silence the home crowd.
Odisha had more of the ball after the break, utilising the space that was opened up due to the sending off. However, there were chances created at both ends of the field.
Santana set Nandhakumar Sekar up perfectly inside the box after a neat one-two but Joyner Lourenco’s timely intervention denied the visitors a shot on target. Jamshedpur then found themselves in a two-on-one attacking scenario but Farukh’s cross, intended for Castel in the centre, was cut off by Shubham Sarangi just in time.
The game was stretched and the teams found space on counter-attacks. Farukh missed a glorious chance to score in one such speedy push forward as Piti lobbed the ball into space for Sergio Castel to chase. The striker squared it to the India forward who wrongly chose to return the favour and lost the ball.
A 10-man Jamshedpur were finally rewarded for their resilience in the 85th minute. Piti found Castel in space once again on the counter and the striker dinked the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro to net what turned out to be the crucial match-winner.