ISL 2023/24 – Jamshedpur And Mumbai Split Points But Rule Breach Threatens Red Miners

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After a back-and-forth contest at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Friday, March 8th, Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC settled for a 1 – 1 draw. Following a scoreless first half that was ridden with chances, Jamshedpur got their noses in front through Javier Siverio in the 60th minute. Mumbai City responded in the 74th minute and had a man advantage from the 82nd. Despite a frantic finish, neither team could add to their tally and both came out with a point each.

That point was significant enough to send Mumbai City to the top of the table and Jamshedpur into the top six. However, a breach of the domestic player rule by the Red Miners could see the result change in favor of the Islanders.

Mumbai

The visiting Islanders, level on points with first-place Odisha but having played a game less, hoped to capitalize on this extra fixture. Odisha slipped up against Chennaiyin last weekend, allowing Mumbai City to surpass them with a win or draw against Jamshedpur. But it was not going to be simple, as Petr Kratky’s men knew from their 2–3 defeat to Jamshedpur in the return leg in Mumbai on February 4th.

Jamshedpur came into the fixture on the back of a 3–0 defeat against Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake. It was the team’s first defeat under the reign of Khalid Jamil, who took over as manager on New Year’s Eve. Hovering beneath the final playoff position, the Red Miners needed a draw, preferably a win, to boost their claim on 6th place.

The game kicked off with high-intensity attacking football from both teams. Jamshedpur’s 19-year-old winger Mohammad Sanan had the first attempt at goal in the 7th minute, but his tame effort was gathered easily by Phurba Lachenpa. Five minutes later, Lallianzuala Chhangte was through on goal at the other end, following a poor turnover from the hosts, but T. P. Rehenesh advanced smartly off his line and smothered it. The Jamshedpur custodian, having sustained a blow during the play, looked unlikely to continue, but after a brief delay, he stayed on.

Jamshedpur, breaking Mumbai’s defense with excellent wing play, had some good looks from cutbacks and crosses in the first half. However, their target man Daniel Chukwu could not divert the ball into the goal. Provat Lakra hit a sweet half-volley from 25 yards out in the 25th minute, but Lachenpa was able to get down quickly and prevent any damage.

Meanwhile, Vikram Partap was the live wire for the Islanders. In the 18th minute, the 22-year-old forward split two defenders, who cornered him by the touchline, and minused the ball to Bipin Singh. But the latter did not get a convincing connection on his shot. Later, at the stroke of halftime, Vikram nearly caught Rehenesh off-guard from an obscene angle, but the Jamshedpur shot-stopper adjusted brilliantly to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Mumbai

While the Islanders ended the first half on a high, Jamshedpur came out stronger to start the second. The Red Miners had a penalty shout turned down in the 56th minute when Javier Silverio was brought down by Yoell van Nieff in an inadvertent collision just inside the box.

Then, just four minutes later, Silverio capped off a slick attacking move with a delicate finish to send Jamshedpur in front. Jamil must have been proud of that buildup, which saw Sanan, who received a cross-field ball at the corner of the penalty area, play it through to overlapping Muhammad Uvais, who in turn slid the ball across the six-yard box for Silverio to tap in. It was also the 6th goal scored by a substitute for Jamshedpur this season, more than any other club in the Indian Super League; another testament to Jamil’s managerial prowess.

In the 67th minute, the Islanders had three unmarked forwards lunging to finish a cut-back from six yards. But Vikram, who got the eventual touch, sliced underneath the ball and sent it over the crossbar. It was a glorious chance missed, but Mumbai City managed to get level seven minutes later: Chhangte was played in behind the Jamshedpur backline once again, and this time he found the net, despite a touch from Rehenesh.

Read More – Mumbai in advanced talks to sign Brandon Fernandes

Mumbai City threatened to take the lead soon after, but Alberto Noguera’s dipping curler from the corner of the box missed by the smallest of margins. Audible gasps from the Jamshedpur crowd emphasized how close the strike was to finding the top corner.

In the 82nd minute, Chukwu was sent off, having received a second yellow for stamping on van Nieff, reducing Jamshedpur to ten men. But the handicap did not stop the Red Miners from pushing for a winner. Silverio nearly replicated his earlier goal in the 88th minute and had another attempt in the 90th, but last-ditch defending saved the Islanders on both occasions. After nine minutes of stoppage time, the referee finally blew the whistle, and the game finished 1 – 1.

The one point puts Mumbai City ahead of second-placed Odisha and into the summit. However, their more threatening adversary is third-placed Mohun Bagan, who, with two games in hand, trails the Islanders by only three points. Given Jamshedpur’s performance, Kratky will be happy to come away with at least a point but disappointed his team did not exploit the eighteen minutes of man advantage.

Mumbai

The hosts put on a strong display against one of the league’s best teams, and the point sees them enter the 6th position. With only three points separating the six teams competing for that final playoff position, the Red Miners cannot afford to err in their three remaining games.

Jamshedpur’s biggest concern at the moment will be the complaint Mumbai City filed against them for fielding only six Indian players (a breach of ISL’s Rule 4.2.10) after Imran Khan was replaced by Alen Stevanovic following Chukwu’s sending-off in the 82nd minute. If the league upholds the complaint, the Red Miners could be punished with a 3-0 loss instead of the 1-1 draw that was played out.

ISL’s Rule 4.2.10 states:

“Each club shall ensure that at least seven (7) Domestic Players are fielded and playing on the field at all times throughout each match, except where any such domestic player(s) is dismissed as a result of him receiving a red card in the match. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a sanction of a 3-0 loss for the defaulter club in the particular match unless the opposing team was winning/has won the match by a higher score, in which case the result on the field will be upheld.”


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Sriram Chidambaram
Sriram Chidambaramhttp://iftwc.com
A sports tragic, whose obsession percolates into the obscure world of Indian Football. My affiliations lie with the Blue Tigers, BFC, Servette, and Chelsea (in that order).

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