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Bengaluru v Jamshedpur

Hardworking Jamshedpur edge a close contest against Bengaluru

03:49 GMT 29/12/2020
Stephen Eze Jamshedpur ISL
Jamshedpur made full use of Bengaluru's left flank and it is a concern for Carles Cuadrat...

Before heading into Monday's 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) fixture, Bengaluru and Jamshedpur were the two most disciplined teams in the league this season. 

During the game though, they committed a combined total of 24 fouls and recorded 38 interceptions. The intensity on display by both the teams was so high that it had become too difficult to pick a winner until Stephen Eze headed in the only goal of the game in the 79th minute. 

Both Bengaluru and Jamshedpur had plenty of chances that were wasted. There were nine shots on target in a 1-0 result. 

The teams were evenly matched in all areas of the pitch. Cleiton Silva and Sunil Chhetri created chances to score at one end and Nerijus Valskis and Aniket Jadhav worked hard at the other end. Dimas Delgado tried to take control of the midfield but Aitor Monroy wanted the ball just as much.

The impressive Suresh covered the entire field throughout the game for the Blues but Alex Lima also did the same for the Men of Steel. The game had a goalless draw written all over it despite the number of transitions and chances that both teams had. The goalkeepers also played their part to perfection - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and TP Rehenesh did their job very well to keep the game goalless for 79 minutes. 

The teams needed a brilliant piece of play to make a difference and it came from Aniket Jadhav who continued his impressive form as a winger. From the right flank, Aniket delivered an excellent cross into the box for Eze who beat his marker and headed in his third goal of the season on a night where Valskis went missing in front of goal. 

Jamshedpur is slowly turning into an Owen Coyle team full of fight and desire to win games. Last season's Chennaiyin had that fire in the belly that champions require and the close games are the ones that decide the table. 

With three points in the bag, Jamshedpur leapfrogged Bengaluru into the third spot on the table but the Blues have a game in hand. The Men of Steel, if they can find goals without Valskis, are a dangerous team to go up against. 

It was not for the first time that Bengaluru lacked a cutting edge in an ISL game this season. They kept missing the final delivery or the finish with their moves and it cost them once again. Just like how Eze scored a late winner, it would have been Sunil Chhetri or Miku netting at the other end in a similar setting a few years ago but their forwards are yet to show that killer instinct week in week out.

Young Indian midfielder Suresh Wangjam, Erik Paartalu and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu have been their best performers. It must be also concerning for Carles Cuadrat how Jamshedpur targeted the make-shift left-back Rahul Bheke in the absence of Ashique Kuruniyan who is out with an injury. The match-winning goal also came from that flank. New signing and former Chennai City player Ajith Kumar can play at left-back and he made his first appearance of the season as a substitute on Monday. 

As it stands, Jamshedpur look ready for top four and Bengaluru have not at the expected level yet.