Goa travel to Jamshedpur with the aim to seal top spot
The final Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 encounter at the JRD Tata Sports Complex will see Jamshedpur FC welcome FC Goa on Wednesday. The home side are already out of the reckoning for the semi-finals, but will be hoping to end their campaign on a high in front of their supporters. Goa, meanwhile, are already through and sit on top of the table going into the final gameweek.
With the all-important AFC Champions League spot up for grabs, the Gaurs can ill-afford to repeat the same mistakes they committed in the reverse fixture in mid-November. Despite being away, Jamshedpur managed to grab all three points that evening and will surely be hoping to do more of the same in order to close their season on a successful note.
Iriondo’s side return to Jamshedpur after playing three successive away games. They drew two of those and lost the other, thereby extending their winless run to six games in Hero ISL 2019-20. Jamshedpur’s campaign started off on a good note, but has slowly derailed into disappointment with each passing week. While injuries to key players like Sergio Castel, Piti and Tiri among others, has surely played a part in that, the club’s home form hasn’t been up to the mark and is a shadow of their numbers in Jamshedpur in the previous campaign.
Playing eight home matches in the Hero ISL 2018-19 term, the club collected a decent 18 points and lost just once. In contrast to that, this season they’ve been able to gather just 12 points from eight outings. Scoring goals in Jamshedpur has also proved difficult for them, with Iriondo’s men finding the back of the net on just 11 occasions.
Even so, there have been more than a few decent performers for Jamshedpur this season. Midfielder Aitor Monroy has been the pick of the bunch, playing all but one game and scoring one goal so far. The Spaniard has had 1295 touches, which is only second to FC Goa’s Ahmed Jahouh this term. He’s completed a staggering 1045 passes this season, and has made 112 tackles so far – second only to Jahouh’s tally of 146 tackles.
The Gaurs got a serious boost to their ambitions of finishing top of the table after Chennaiyin’s handsome win over ATK FC last Sunday. With the result, Goa opened a three-point lead at the top of the table, which means that even a draw against Jamshedpur would ensure the Gaurs end the league stage on top spot. Their form in recent matches will give them enough confidence of sealing not just one, but all three points. The departure of long-standing manager Sergio Lobera has hardly affected their performance, with the club winning both their matches since then, and scoring a combined nine goals in them.
Midfielder Hugo Boumous is a key reason behind that, directly affecting six of those nine goals. Five of the nine goals scored by Boumous so far this term has come in the last four matches – a major boost for the Gaurs ahead of the semi-finals.
While the attack has been magnificent, Goa’s defence has been slightly disappointing off-late and needs some work going into the defining part of the season. Close to 40% of the goals conceded by the club have come in the last five matches. Their defensive record away from home this season is even more worrying, with 15 of the 23 goals conceded by them so far coming on the road – the worst record in the club’s Hero ISL history. The Jamshedpur tie, therefore, comes at the right time for them as they try to gain much-needed solidity ahead of the semi-finals.
Jamshedpur FC: Rafique Ali (GK), Joyner Lourenco, Sandip Mandi, Memo Moura, Bikash Jairu, Aitor Monroy, Amarjit Singh, Noe Acosta, Aniket Jadhav, CK Vineeth, David Grande
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Chinglensana Singh, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Dessai, Lenny Rodrigues, Edu Bedia, Seiminlen Doungel, Jackichand Singh, Hugo Boumous, Ferran Corominas
Did you know?
- Jamshedpur have scored a league-high five goals from penalties this season.
- FC Goa have scored eight goals from free-kicks this season – highest in the division.
- Jamshedpur have conceded eight goals from through balls – highest in the division.
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 85: Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa
Date: February 19 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV