Talking Point: Can Jesuraj continue fine form against Jamshedpur’s much-improved defence?
Jamshedpur FC will be looking to register successive wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 for the first time when they take on FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Wednesday. Owen Coyle’s men were victorious in their last outing and will be hoping for a positive result against an FC Goa side that has lost both their last two games. Here, we take a look at some of the key factors that could decide who emerges on top in this encounter.
Alexander Jesuraj has been a revelation
Alexander Jesuraj has been one of the breakout Indian performers this season and is presently only second to Hugo Boumous in the league’s leading assist-makers charts with three assists from six games. He has the joint-most assists by any Indian player and the best minutes per assist rate among the domestic talents. His crossing completion rate of 77.78% is also one of the best in the league. So, Jamshedpur will have to be on their toes on Wednesday against a player of his calibre.
Jamshedpur’s defensive improvement
Jamshedpur’s defence has shown a visible improvement over their last few games and they even picked up just their second clean sheet of the season in their previous outing. They conceded six goals in their first four matches and just one in their last three. Skipper Peter Hartley and centre-back partner Stephen Eze have played a huge role in this improvement. The development of their understanding on the pitch has seen the number of shots on target that Jamshedpur concede fall from 23 in the first four games to six in the last three games.
FC Goa’s defence has been under the cosh
While Jamshedpur’s defence has shown signs of improvement, Goa’s backline has gone in the other direction and were in dire straits several times in their last game against Chennaiyin. Even though the Marina Machans only narrowly won the game 2-1, the two-time champions cut Goa’s defence to shreds and could have easily had scored more with better finishing up front. Goa have faced 29 shots – 10 of which have been on target – in their last two outings and need to be more compact both in defence as well as midfield if they want something from the game against Jamshedpur.