NorthEast United FC and ISL newbies Jamshedpur FC played out a 0-0 draw in the second match of ISL season 4 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati on Saturday.
Both the teams started in similar 4-2-3-1 formations tonight. Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell fielded both Sameehg Doutie and Trinidade Goncalves along with Izu Azuka as the lone striker upfront. NorthEast boss Joao Carlos Pires de Deus fielded Seminlen Doungel and Odair in the flanks with Marcinho playing just behind striker Danilo. Surprisingly Lalrindika Ralte played in the central midfield.
The home side started dominating the proceedings right from the word go. They attacked in numbers and kept on building pressure in the opponent’s box. NorthEast could have got their opening goal as early as in 3rd minute but Marcinho wasted the easiest chance of the match. He was one on one with Subrata Paul inside the 6-yard box but he blasted the ball which went above the crossbar.
As the game progressed, Coppell’s men changed their tactics and went into an attacking mode with Trinidade Goncalves assisting Azuka as the second striker. Azuka could have gifted Jamshedpur their maiden ISL goal at the stroke of halftime when he found Rehenesh alone in front of the goal. But thanks to a fine save from the NorthEast custodian, the scoreline remained unchanged.
NorthEast United started the second half with much more hunger and intent. Odair came close to score in the 55th minute directly from a corner but Subrata Paul denied him. In the next three minutes, Danilo found himself one on one with Paul following a through ball from Lalrindika Ralte but his shot went wide.
In the 64th and 66th minute, the home team missed two genuine chances. Marcinho attempted a header from Len’s cross which hit the woodwork and went out. Subrata Paul had absolutely no chance of saving that effort. The second chance was a brilliant individual effort of Danilo. The forward entered the penalty box from left, dribbled past Tiri and took a shot at goal. Paul pulled off a brilliant save to deny NorthEast.
Coppell made two changes in the 70th minute while De Deus made one. Andre Bikey replaced Mehtab Hossain as CDM and Farukh Chowdhary came in for Trinidade Goncalves. Halicharan Narzary came in for Len Doungel for the home side.
Unfortunately, Bikey’s appearance was short-lived as he was given the marching order in the 77th minute for a high boot challenge on Luis Paez. The decision seemed a bit harsh on the player as the referee could have easily warned with a yellow card.
Jamshedpur concentrated on defending after Bikey was sent off. The home side created quite a few chances in the dying moments of the match but were unlucky not to find the back of the net.