Missing several key men, Indian Super League table toppers Hyderabad relinquished their top spot to a relentless Jamshedpur FC. The Red Miners won 3-0 at the GMC Athletic Stadium on Tuesday night, overtaking the Nizams with a couple of games to go.
The coronavirus outbreak in the Hyderabad camp left them with a depleted squad on the eve of their ISL fixture against Jamshedpur. Missing their top scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche and custodian Laxmikant Kattimani, the Nizams suffered a 3-0 defeat against the Red Miners, who also leapfrogged them in the league table to go top with a couple of games left to play.
Hyderabad trailed five minutes into the match. The Nizams failed to deal properly with a Jamshedpur corner, and Mobashir Rahman’s follow-up shot deflected off a few bodies before creeping over the line. Chinglensana Singh, the unfortunate individual to whom the own goal was credited.
At the other end, without their star forward Ogbeche, Hyderabad lacked punch. However, youngsters Akash Mishra and Aniket Jadhav combined to fashion an opening for the latter in the 25th minute, but his shot from close range fell to the wrong side of the post. To make matters worse, Jamshedpur doubled their lead just three minutes later through Peter Hartley; the defender nodded in from an Alex Lima corner with stand-in goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh left rooted to his spot.
Daniel Chima Chukwu added a third after the break. Capitalizing on a mistake from centre-back Khassa Camara, Lima pounced on the ball before threading it through for Chukwu, and the forward smashed his shot past Gurmeet from close range.
Jamshedpur cruised into a three-goal lead, which is what made controlling the game easier for Owen Coyle despite Mobashir’s red card in the 68th minute – the midfielder, given his marching orders for a kick out at Mishra.
Jordan Murray came close, twice, to adding a fourth for Jamshedpur late on while, at the other end, TP Rehenesh smothered Javier Siveiro’s attempt to reduce the deficit. Nonetheless, the Red Miners held on to the 3-0 scoreline to qualify for the semi-finals and go top of the table with two games left to play.