A headed goal from Stephen Eze, 11 minutes from time, earned Jamshedpur FC a 1-0 win over Bengaluru FC (BFC) at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday.
The Nigerian’s third strike of the season helped his side leapfrog BFC into third position (13 points) and left coach Carles Cuadrat to digest back-to-back defeats for the first time in the ISL since February-March 2019.
With just over 10 minutes left, midfielder Alex Lima, a vibrant presence all through the evening, released Aniket Jadhav on the right. The 20-year-old whipped in a fine cross which Eze attacked bravely ahead of BFC’s burly defender Juanan and was duly rewarded.
Rahul Bheke could have salvaged a point for BFC, but his header from point-blank range in the 85th minute was fisted away by Jamshedpur’s T.P. Rehenesh.
BFC paid for its profligacy in the first half. Just after the half-hour mark, Suresh Wangjam started a move from midfield, and after exchanging passes with Sunil Chhetri and Kristian Opseth found himself with just Rehenesh to beat.
The 20-year-old unselfishly chose to square it for Cleiton Silva to tap into the empty net but the pass was weak and Rehenesh recovered ground. Immediately after, Chhetri sent a fine cut-back by Wangjam from the left wing wide.
In the 17th minute, an unmarked Nerijus Valskis skied a low cross from Jadhav and in the very next minute the Lithuanian was thwarted by an excellent tackle by Bheke.
In the 62nd minute Gurpreet came up with a superb reflex save to deny defender Peter Hartley from close range when the latter tried a toe-poke after a goal-mouth scramble. But even the India custodian’s best efforts couldn’t keep BFC afloat.
The result: Jamshedpur FC 1 (Eze 79) bt Bengaluru FC 0.
Tuesday’s match: Chennaiyin FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan, 7.30 p.m.