Super Cup Football: Jamshedpur FC knocks out I-League champs Minerva Punjab
Bhubaneswar: Jamshedpur FC (JFC) knocked out I-League champions Minerva Punjab on the third day of the Super Cup Football Tournament at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. After ISL champs Chennaiyin FC, the I-League winner is also out of the tournament after losing to the Jamshedpur side in sudden death penalty shootout as scoreline remained 0-0 after regulation time and extra time.
It was a sedate start to the game and nothing much happened in the first 15 minutes apart from a foul by Punjab midfielder Bazie Armand. In the 18th minute, Jamshedpur striker Trindade Goncalves seeing an open goal attempted a shot from outside the box but the ball went wide off the Punjab goalpost.
Punjab got a free-kick in the 21st minute and William Opoku went for it and almost opened the account for the I-League champions. In the absence of senior pro Subrata Paul, Sanjiban Ghosh came up with a brilliant save to maintain the scoreline at 0-0.
Jamshedpur then went for counter-attack and got two back-to-back opportunities in the 25th and 26th minute but both went down the drain. The first attempt was cleared by Punjab goalie Kiran Limbu while on the second occasion Bikash Jairu’s left-footed shot hit the crossbar.
With three minutes to half-time, Akash Sangwan’s curling ball into the box found unmarked Girik Khosla who couldn’t beat JFC goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh.
Minerva’s Akash Sangwan went for a free-kick in the 11th minute of the second half but was saved by Sanjiban Ghosh. In the very next minute Bikash Jairu’s cross went just wide of the far post and JFC failed to score.
Bhutanese striker Chencho Gyelthsen found only the goalkeeper in front of Jamshedpur post and went for a left-footed shot only to be saved by an alert Sanjeeban in the 74th minute.
Although last 15 minutes of regulation time were interesting with constant attempts from both the sides, none could score a goal and it remained 0-0 after 90 minutes.
Both the teams looked lackluster in the extra time. After a languid passage of play in the first 15 minutes of extra-time, Minerva created a couple of chances with Chencho Gyelthsen entering the penalty area of JFC on both the occasions. But, as the rest of the game, JFC goalie Sanjiban Ghosh blocked the ball without any support from other defenders right in front of the post. With the extra-time ending without a single goal being scored the game was decided on a penalty shootout.
In the first five sets of shootout, Jamshedpur and Punjab each missed once. So the game was decided in a sudden death after a scoreline of 4-4 in the shootout.
JFC goalie Sanjiban Ghosh restricted Bali Gagandeep from scoring and won it for the team from the neighbouring state of Jharkhand.
Sanjiban Ghosh of JFC was named Player of the Match for his sensational show throughout the game. ISL teams FC Goa and ATK Kolkata will lock horns on the fourth day of Super Cup tomorrow.