Bambolim (Goa): Jamshedpur FC took a major step towards securing the 2021-22 Indian Super League (ISL) Winner’s Shield after a dominant 5-1 victory over Odisha FC at the Athletic Stadium, here on Friday.
Daniel Chima Chukwu (23′, 26′) scored a first-half brace to take his season’s tally to nine goals before Paul Ramfangzauva (45+1′) pulled one back for the Kalinga Warriors. However, goals from Ritwik Das (54′), Jordan Murray (71′) and Ishan Pandita (87′) ensured a sixth consecutive win for Owen Coyle’s men.
With one match remaining between them and ATK Mohun Bagan, the Men of Steel have to avoid defeat to become winners of the league stage.
Odisha FC was dealt a major blow early in the game after losing Aridai Cabrera to injury. On the other end, Greg Stewart yet again played a major role in the first goal of the match as his free-kick hit the crossbar and fell to Daniel Chima Chukwu. The striker made no mistake in scoring with the rebound.
Odisha managed to make things worse for themselves shortly after when Paul Ramfangzauva made a grim error in his own final third. Stealing the ball away from the midfielder, Chukwu added a second goal for his team. The Kalinga Warriors, with their backs against the wall, showed grit before the half ended. They managed to halve JFC’s lead thanks to the strike from Paul, who made amends for his earlier error.
The second half saw more zeal from Odisha FC as they tried to find the equaliser. However, it was the Men of Steel who found the back of the net through Ritwik Das. The winger combined brilliantly with Stewart, latched on a through ball, and rifled his shot into the bottom right corner.
The evening became harder for OFC with Jordan Murray getting on the scoresheet after coming on from the bench. To make matters worse for Kino Garcia and co, Jonathas was shown a second yellow card for unsportsmanlike behaviour, which saw him leave the field, reducing the team to 10-men. A late strike from Ishan Pandita saw JFC score their fifth goal and secure the win with style and dominance.
The next outing for Jamshedpur FC will see them involved in a highly anticipated top-of-the-table clash with ATK Mohun Bagan in the last league match of the season at the PJN Stadium on Monday. On the other hand, Odisha FC’s season is over.