Home FOOTBALL ISL (Indian Super League) ISL 2020-21: Thapa inspired Chennaiyin FC grab a win against ex-boss’ Jamshedpur...

ISL 2020-21: Thapa inspired Chennaiyin FC grab a win against ex-boss’ Jamshedpur FC


Owen Coyle began his Jamshedpur FC reign against former club Chennaiyin FC, but goals from Anirudh Thapa and Esmael Goncalves ensuring a victory for last year’s finalists in spite of a fightback from Jamshedpur FC after a goal from ex-Chennaiyin Nerijus Valskis.

Image Source: Indian Football Team Twitter

While both managers were making their debut for their respective clubs, there were many debutants on both sides of the pitch as well. Both managers opted for a 4-2-3-1 setup but Jamshedpur looked to be set up to possess the ball a lot more and Chennaiyin looked to play on the break.

The game had an absolutely cracking start when Chennaiyin broke on the counter-attack in the very first minute of the game and Crivellaro set Goncalves on his way who put in a beautiful grounded cross for the onrushing Anirudh Thapa with the Indian youngster slotting the ball in the bottom right-hand corner with a lovely curling first-time effort. Chennaiyin FC lead 1-0.

Jamshedpur didn’t look distraught even after conceding early and won a set-piece in the next few minutes in the opposition half. A crisp and whipped delivery from the set-piece created a golden open opportunity for Jamshedpur captain and ex-Sunderland player Peter Hartley from only a few yards out, but the center-back was only able to spurn the opportunity wide. Hartley later got injured in the half and had to be replaced by Narender Gahlot.

Chhangte looked lively for Chennaiyin early on and even he missed a good chance to extend the lead for Chennaiyin but he was the part of a decisive moment in the next few minutes when a cross from the right-wing from Chennaiyin was made to widen the play and Jamsedpur’s Isaac in an attempt to stop the cross fouled Chhangte and gave away a penalty inside the box. Esmael Goncalves, the debutant wearing number 99 stepped up and found the bottom right corner from the spot to give Chennaiyin a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute.

The next 10 minutes looked to be a cagey affair with both teams trying to win the midfield battle. Jackichand Singh, the new Jamshedpur signing decided to pull a rabbit out of the hat when after a short dribble on the right-wing he switched onto his left foot and delivered a delicious cross for last season’s golden boot winner Nerijus Valskis who buried the header into the top right corner and put his new team back in the game against his former team with the score now being 2-1.

The score remained the same at half time, but Owen Coyle’s new team looked to have a lot more purpose and guile now in the game. Jamshedpur had 62% of the ball in the first half but weren’t able to create clear chances early on. It was Chennaiyin who had more shots on target and 6 corners and made the best out of them.

The second half started with Chennaiyin now totally resorting to preserve their lead by defending deep and trying to add to it if possible on the break. In the 55th minute Sylvestr, the new number 9 for Chennaiyin, missed a fantastic opportunity to restore the 2-goal cushion for the team in white today as he skewed his chance over the top of the bar.

Jackichand Singh who looked lively all game for Jamshedpur got gifted the ball on a silver platter when Chennaiyin goalkeeper Vishal Kaith spilled a cross on the edge of the box to the Indian winger but a tame attempt from Jackichand was cleared off the line by Eli Sabia was Chennaiyin to preserve their lead.

In minute 73, Chennaiyin winger Chhangte who also looked impressive all game had a great opportunity to increase the lead but even he fluffed his lines but worked a save out of the Jamshedpur keeper. TP Rehenesh also saved a good volleyed attempted by Goncalves in the next few minutes. The game was absolutely on the edge which seemed to have got onto Owen Coyle as his argument with the opposition players and the referee earned him a yellow card.

Chhangte kept on making bad decisions for Chennaiyin late on in the game with his game in the final third but it did not come back to bite his team as Jamshedpur couldn’t create the opportunity for Jackichand or Valskis to level the game. The game ended 2-1 in the favor of Chennaiyin FC. Anirudh Thapa had a splendid game in midfield for Chennaiyin. With 77% passing accuracy, Thapa also won a lot of tackles and duels in midfield. Thapa also became the Hero of the Match with him being the first Indian goalscorer of the season.

A blockbuster to come on Wednesday evening as Mumbai City FC & FC Goa lock horns on 25th November at 7:30 pm. Hopefully, that lives up to the billing. Cheers!

Also Read: Impressive Hyderabad FC cruise home with 3 points against Odisha FC

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