Jamshedpur FC beat listless Delhi Dynamos, register first win in ISL 2017-18 | indian super league 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Jamshedpur FC beat listless Delhi Dynamos, register first win in ISL 2017-18

Izu Azuka’s goal in the second half handed Jamshedpur FC a 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday

indian super league 2017 Updated: Dec 07, 2017 15:52 IST
Shayne Dias
Izu Azuka scored the solitary goal of the ISL game for Jamshedpur FC in their 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos.
Izu Azuka scored the solitary goal of the ISL game for Jamshedpur FC in their 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos.(ISL)

Jamshedpur FC finally snapped their streak of goalless draws and registered their first win of their Indian Super League campaign against a lackluster Delhi Dynamos at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Izu Azuka’s goal on the hour mark was enough to give Steve Coppell’s side their maiden ISL win in an encounter that didn’t see too much goal-to-goal action.

That being said, Jamshedpur coach Steve Coppell was happy with the way his side played. “I thought we played well tonight and we made some good opportunities. I’d like to think we deserved to win,” said a beaming Coppell after the match.

Jamshedpur were happy to sit back and defend, giving Delhi the lion’s share of the possession. The home side passed the ball well to begin with but didn’t threaten Subrata Pal in goal.

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That changed in the 10th minute when Dynamos’ skipper Kalu Uche scored a free header from a Paulinho Dias free-kick. But the home side’s joy was short lived as the linesman correctly flagged for offside.

Delhi continued to go forward, with Lallianzuala Chhangte making some good runs from the left wing and Vinit Rai making some tidy passes from midfield. That first goal remained all-elusive though, as Coppell’s side sat tight and even committed a few fouls to stay in the game.

However, the extra physical edge did not affect the scoreline or the tempo of the game in any way, which remained stuck in first gear throughout the first half.

JFC break the jinx

Jamshedpur came into this game without having scored in their previous three games. However, that run finally came to an end in the 60th minute when Azuka Iku nodded home a free header from a Mehtab Hossain free-kick.

But just three minutes prior to them scoring their first-ever ISL goal, it seemed like Jamshedpur were destined for yet another goalless encounter when Andre Bikey’s tame penalty – which incidentally was won by Iku - was easily saved by Albino Gomes.

The goal, rather than open the game up, saw it become an even more listless affair. Jamshedpur had no problem sitting deep and letting the home team keep the ball.

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Delhi, for all their possession, struggled to create clear-cut chances for most of the game. Kalu Uche cut a forlorn and frustrated figure in front of goal for most of the match, often having to drop very deep in an effort to get involved in the play.

The lack of bite in attack was something Delhi coach Miguel Angel Portugal expressed his displeasure towards after the match. “I like to play attacking football but my team hasn’t been good going forward. We can’t seem to finish; I don’t like that,” Portugal said in the post-match press conference.

Jamshedpur almost doubled their lead late in injury time, but substitute Sameehg Doutie’s shot was well-blocked by Gabriel Cichero, who tracked back well to deny the winger a clear chance at goal.

In the dying minutes of the game, Dynamos’ sub David Ngaihte made some space and took a shot but his effort didn’t trouble Subrata Paul and Jamshedpur ran out deserved winners.