Goalless draw against Chennaiyin ends Jamshedpur’s qualification hopes

Chennaiyin FC held Jamshedpur FC to a goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday and in the process, ended Cesar Ferrando and Co’s hopes of qualifying for the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 semi-finals. Going into the match, the Miners needed to win both their remaining fixtures to stay in the hunt.

The result means NorthEast United FC will join Bengaluru FC, FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in the next stage of the competition.

  • Karanjit Singh made a brilliant save in the first-half to keep out a Mario Arques header.
  • Jamshedpur had a penalty appeal turned down in the second-half.
  • Michael Soosairaj thought he had scored on the 88th minute, but was adjudged offside.

With the impetus on Jamshedpur to grab the maximum points from the match to keep their semi-final hopes alive, Ferrando's men were expected to start on the front foot. However, it was Chennaiyin who were forcing the issue early on and took the game to the Miners.

Gregory Nelson's suspension allowed Anirudh Thapa to start and take up a relatively advanced position. The youngster made a bright start and was central to most of Chennaiyin's forward forays in the initial stages. However, it took 21 minutes for either team to register the first shot on target of the match. CK Vineeth tried his lock from the edge of the box but his left-footed shot was too straight to worry Subrata Paul.

Jamshedpur offered very little in the opposition third for the first 30 minutes, but their first attempt was a dangerous one. Sergio Cidoncha received the ball on the left flank and found Mario Arques inside the Chennaiyin box. Arques did everything right and headed the ball down away from Karanjit Singh. The Chennaiyin goalkeeper, however, showed some brilliant reflexes and got down just in time to palm it away.

After a pedestrian first 30 minutes, the match suddenly opened up as both teams showed much more adventure in the opposition half in the final 15 minutes of the first-half. However, the score stayed 0-0 at the break.

Five minutes after the restart, Jamshedpur had a big penalty shout when Carlos Calvo's driven free kick seemed to have hit Isaac Vanmalsawma's hand inside the box. To the disappointment of the Jamshedpur players, the referee waved off the appeal.

Shortly after, a terrific bit of vision by Thapa presented Jeje Lalpekhlua with a golden opportunity. The out-of-form striker only managed to hit his effort straight at Subrata and squandered the chance.

Ferrando did bring on Michael Soosairaj and Pablo Morgado in the second-half in an attempt to find the all-important goal, but the Miners made very little inroads into the Chennaiyin defence.

With just minutes left for the regulation time, Jamshedpur finally managed to get the ball into the net when Soosairaj got on the end of Calvo's cross and turned it in from close range. The wild celebrations were, however, cut short as the linesman signalled for offside. It would eventually turn out to be the last bit of notable action of the match, as the two teams shared the points.

HERO OF THE MATCH - Anirudh Thapa

Anirudh Thapa controlled the match from the midfield for Chennaiyin and was a central part of everything good the home team created in the match. He was named the Hero of the Match.

CLUB AWARDS 

Club Award – Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Mailson Alves

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Anirudh Thapa

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Isaac Vanmalsawma

Hero of the Match – Anirudh Thapa

WHAT’S NEXT?

Jamshedpur will play their last match of the league stages against Bengaluru FC on February 27, while Chennaiyin’s final outing will be against FC Goa at the Fatorda on February 28.

Watch the match highlights here:

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