Azuka bags winner for Jamshedpur against Delhi
Jamshedpur FC picked up their first win of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 after beating Delhi Dynamos FC 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. Nigerian striker Izu Azuka scored the only goal of the match in the 61st minute.
The hosts registered the first shot of the night on target in the 4th minute after Lallianzuala Chhangte did well to earn his side a free-kick in a dangerous area. Paulinho Dias took the responsibility of the free-kick and tested Jamshedpur goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who made an easy save.
The Dynamos then put the ball into the back of the net nine minutes later after another Dias free-kick was floated into the box dangerously. Kalu Uche got on the end of Dias’ cross and nodded it beyond Paul but the assistant referee rightly raised his flag for offside.
Jamshedpur’s first real chance came in the 21st minute after a swift counter-attack led to Bikash Jairu and Azuka exchanging neat passes near the edge of the Delhi penalty box. Azuka managed to get his shot away but he dragged his effort fractions wide of the target. Neither team, however, managed to establish a real foothold in the game as the half meandered on with the sides finding it difficult to create any clear-cut chances.
The visitors started the second half positively thanks to a good cross from the left by Azuka. Memo got on the end of the cross and hit the target, but Delhi’s Albino Gomes was perfectly positioned in goal to make the save. Andre Bikey followed up Memo’s effort shortly after with a header of his own from a corner that Gomes again dealt with.
Jamshedpur then had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock just before the hour-mark after being awarded a penalty for Pratik Chowdhary’s foul on Azuka. Bikey stepped up to the spot but Gomes went low to his right and denied Jamshedpur once again.
The Delhi custodian was helpless in the 61st minute though when Jamshedpur finally made their second half pressure pay with their first goal in the Hero ISL. Mehtab Hossain’s perfectly weighed free-kick was expertly headed into goal by Azuka to hand his side a deserved second-half lead.
They had a chance to double their lead three minutes later when Azuka and Trindade Goncalves found themselves in a 2-on-1 situation against Delhi’s Chowdhary. Azuka passed to Goncalves to put him through on goal but the Brazilian failed to keep his effort on target to the relief of the home crowd.
It was end-to-end stuff during the closing stages of the contest as Delhi looked for an equaliser, while Jamshedpur searched for a two-goal cushion. The game got increasingly stretched in the seven minutes of injury-time, but in the end Jamshedpur did just about enough to secure their first-ever Hero ISL victory.
Club Award: Jamshedpur FC
Swift Moment of the Match: Izu Azuka
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Mehtab Hossain
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Andre Bikey
Emerging Player of the Match: Albino Gomes
Hero of the Match: Andre Bikey