ISL 2017-18: Subrata Paul's 'brainfade' costs Jamshedpur FC a playoff spot

The custodian's moment of madness was the turning point in a game which was to determine the final team to enter the play-offs...

Subrata Paul had seven cleansheets to his name, the joint-highest in this season's Indian Super League (ISL), going into Jamshedpur FC's must-win clash against FC Goa on Sunday. 

The equation for Steve Coppell's team was simple - win against the Gaurs and reach the play-offs. However, they ended up losing the game 3-0 and ended up outside the top-four spots. 

While Coro bagged a brace for FC Goa, the villain for Jamshedpur FC was none other than Subrata Paul - their own custodian. 

His ill-advised decision to come charging out and handle the ball outside the penalty area could only be described as a moment of madness. Not only was the former East Bengal goalkeeper sent off, he also threw his team's tactics out of the window with just seven minutes played. 

It was a baffling passage of play from the 31-year-old that determined the course of the game. Ferran Corominas was chasing a long ball over the Jamshedpur defence but there was no way he would have got to the ball before it reached Subrata inside the area. 

But the goalkeeper had rushed out of his area without even thinking and went on to complicate matters by handling it, giving the referee no other choice but to send him off. 

Coppell had no choice but to substitute Bikash Jairu to send Sanjiban Ghosh in between the sticks but the damage done was too big to be rectified. Gaurs, already in fantastic form, started to find more spaces in behind a stretched Jamshedpur defence and it was only a matter of time before they scored.

Coro, the tournament topscorer, did score just before the half-hour mark and it was always coming. Only some committed defending from Andre Bikey denied them a goal sooner. Coro would go on to net another in the second half before Manuel Lanzarote added the third. 

Subrata Paul Jamshedpur FC FC Goa ISL 4 03042018

Though FC Goa goalkeeper Naveen Peter also did a similar thing and got himself sent off, it was in the 75th minute - by which time Goa were already 3-0 up and Jamshedpur were unlikely to make the most of that piece of development. 

However, it did make the night slightly bittersweet for FC Goa as Lobera will be forced to field Laxmikant Kattimani in the play-off first leg against Chennaiyin FC. Once anointed the best goalkeeper in the country by Lobera, Kattimani failed to live up to the moniker and committed blunder after blunder, forcing Lobera to bench him. 

Now he returns to the starting XI and could be a vulnerability that might be exposed by Chennaiyin FC. 

Article continues below

Ultimately, Subrata's brainfade decided the outcome of the game as his poor record when it comes to reaching the ISL play-offs continued. In the first two seasons, Subrata's Mumbai City FC did not reach the play-offs. The same case last year with NorthEast United FC. 

Subrata Paul, despite being the first choice for India for several years before the emergence of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, is yet to win a league title (ISL or the I-League) in his career. His wait for silverware might just continue again.

This time, he has no one but himself to blame!