Jamshedpur FC finished their Durand Cup campaign on a strong note with a 2-1 win over Indian Air Force FT in Kolkata on Thursday. A goal from Piush gave Jamshedpur the lead but the armed forces side pushed back with an equaliser after a goal from Somananda in the closing stages of the first half.
It was in the 84th minute that the Red Miners got their lead back thanks to the efforts of Ruatmawia who restored their lead and ended their campaign with a win. The game exhibited end-to-end action in the starting minutes of the match, with Indian Air Force FT looking threatening whenever they got the ball moving into the final third as Jamshedpur FC was enjoying greater possession.
The Armed Forces side had almost scored the opener of the game as the crossbar denied Vivek’s powerful strike after powering through a counter-attack. It didn’t take long for the Men of Steel to respond as they broke the deadlock through Piush scored from an easy one-on-one situation after he was set up by Ruatmawia, who got past a player and put in a beautiful through ball in-between the four defenders down the middle.
In the 39th minute, Indian Air Force FT fought back with an equalizer as Somananda scored a belter, a shot that rocketed in the bottom-right corner almost from 40 yards out, with the Jamshedpur FC keeper having no chance. Both sides started attacking with more intent with crucial saves being made at both ends by the two keepers that kept the score level.
Having renewed energy after the equalizer, Priyadarshan’s men looked alive in the second half as they kept mounting pressure on the Red Miners. Jamshedpur FC had a fantastic chance to recover their lead after a beautiful play but substitute Kamlesh missed a sitter after Ruatmawia made a cut-back pass to him as the score remained level.
With a flurry of chances in the game, neither side could prove their dominance as the play had everything except the end product - the goal. In the 84th minute, Carlos Santamarina’s men got the better of the armed forces side a second time as their left-footed magician Ruatmawia struck one home to give the lead back to his side after he found the back of the net from a lovely Tapan Halder cross.
Wrapping up the competition, Jamshedpur FC sees itself at the third position, above former champions FC Goa while Indian Air Force remains winless and finishes its campaign at the bottom of the table.
Chennaiyin see off 10-men TRAU FC in 4-1 win
Chennaiyin FC put in a winning shift against TRAU FC, as they emerged victorious in a 4-1 in their Group C fixture at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Thursday.
A lightning-fast strike from Petar Sliskovic (1’) earned him the accolades of being the fastest goalscorer in the tournament’s history, which then was followed by a penalty goal from Karikari (20’). Nandakumar Singh’s men took a blow after Johnson was shown a red card yet they hit back with a goal from captain Komron, but it wasn’t enough as Vafa Hakhemaneshi (51’) added a third, with Sliskovic netting the fourth (55’) as the duo wrapped up the proceedings.
The Marina Machans opened the floodgates in the opening 15 seconds as Petar Sliskovic was fed a long ball at the start of kick-off that ended up with the Croatian comfortably finding the back of the net. No more than 20 minutes on the clock, new signing Kwame Karikari doubled the lead for his side from the spot-kick after Petar Sliskovic was brought down inside the box.
Thomas Brdaric’s men kept creating chances but couldn’t find an output. With Sliskovic as their main man in the attack, crosses kept coming but the attacker just couldn’t get the ball past the net. In the 36th minute, TRAU FC hit a bummer as they went down to 10 men after Salam Singh was sent off for dissent and disobedience against the referee, with the match official notwithstanding any nonsense and straight away handed the card.
Things took a U-turn for Thomas Brdaric’s men after Sajid Dhot made a blunder in their own half that led to a handball that further led to a penalty being given by the referee. Captain Komron sent the Chennaiyin FC keeper the wrong way to reduce the deficit to one goal. Chennaiyin FC put in a fiery shift in the second half as they sought for more goals in their bag. A brilliant one-two between Rahim Ali and Petar Sliskovic had almost found its way to the goal but Haokip brilliantly saved the former’s shot.
The Marina Machans were quick to add to their goal tally with a third one after Vafa Hakhamaneshi found himself in a perfect position to fire in a header from an Anirudh Thapa corner to give his side a two-goal cushion in the 51st minute. The left flank saw many white shirts getting forward, and in the 55th minute, Chennaiyin FC reaped returns after a flawless cross from the left wing fell to Sliskovic and the forward converted from a header and put his name on the scoresheet yet again to make it 4-1 for the side.
Minutes later, Thapa was through on goal, receiving a loose ball at the edge of the box, but the skipper’s shot was inches away from hitting the target. There was a flush of chances created by Thomas Brdaric's men but Haokip made top saves and blocked their access to the goal. Chennaiyin FC is still in the competition and will play their final game against NEROCA FC on Monday in what will be a virtual knockout game to decide their quarterfinal qualification.