Jamshedpur FC moved to just a point from booking a semis berth as goals by Len Doungel, Greg Stewart, and Jordan Murray guided it to a 3-2 win against a determined NorthEast United FC.
The first significant development of the game came in the eighth minute when NorthEast keeper Mirshad Michu came off his line and brought down Daniel Chima inside the box. Coyle’s men wanted a penalty, but the referee waved away the protests.
The opening goal came in the 35th minute. Mobashir Rahman floated a lovely cross at the far post, and Len Doungel was there to head the ball past Mirshad at his near post.
The second half was where all the action unfolded. Greg Stewart started the proceedings as he went on a brilliant solo-run and dinked the ball past Mirshad to score Jamshedpur’s second in the 58th minute.
All signs indicated an easy Jamshedpur win, but NorthEast got a lifeline when Laldanmawia Ralte pulled one back in the 66th minute from a rebound off Marcelinho’s shot.
Before Jamshedpur could recover from Ralte’s goal, NorthEast strung an attacking move in the next minute as Pragyan Gogoi fed Marcelinho with an accurate through ball. Marcelinho showed lightning pace to penetrate the Jamshedpur box, get past Rehenesh, who came off his line, and slot the ball inside an open net for the equaliser.
On another day, two goals in two minutes would have been enough to dampen the spirits. However, the incentive of booking a semifinal spot pushed Jamshedpur, and its tenacity bore fruit in the 84th minute.
Stewart dinked a well-measured ball to substitute Jordan Murray, who had made a run inside the box. Murray took a first-time shot to slot the ball at Mirshad’s far post to score the precious winner. The win keeps Jamshedpur in second place with 34 points from 17 games.