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Football Reporting


Can Ogbeche and Le Fondre click together for Mumbai? 10-man Jamshedpur FC ward off Mumbai’s attacking riches!

Jamshedpur played most of the game with 10 men and still managed to get a point against Mumbai City…

Jamshedpur’s 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) fixture against Mumbai City on Monday at the GMC Stadium was supposed to be a tactical battle involving players who are technically adept on the field. 

And it was, for the first 30 minutes. It wasn’t the cagey type of tactical battle though as both teams went all-guns-blazing in search for an opening goal. 

Both defences and goalkeepers were tested very early on and it looked like Mumbai City, the more dominant side strictly based on possession stats, would take the lead. However, Nerijus Valskis had other ideas. 

Bartholomew Ogbeche, who started his third game of the season, alongside Adam Le Fondre upfront, gifted the ball to his opponent and set the stage for the opener. Jackichand Singh intercepted the forward’s poor backpass and fed Valskis inside the box who slotted home with aplomb to score his sixth goal in six matches. 

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Ogbeche made amends in no time as he slotted in the equaliser minutes later. Bipin Singh received Le Fondre’s pass from the right and laid it off for Ogbeche who struck a well-placed first-time effort into the bottom right corner of the net. 


For a brief period in the game, Ogbeche seemed to be the hero who had been waiting for his chance on the bench. And it looked like the two-striker system could finally work for Sergio Lobera. But everything went downhill slowly but steadily as the match wore on. 

Jamshedpur’s defence put on a solid show in their own half to keep Mumbai City under check. Peter Hartley was the standout performer with his experience and leadership at the back in setting up an organized display with the team suffering from a numerical disadvantage. 

But Mumbai City still ended up creating enough chances for Ogbeche to score a hat-trick but he failed to deliver. It was a rusty show in the final third by the Nigerian striker who will need regular gametime to get back to his rhythm.

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He failed to find the target despite being presented with numerous clear-cut chances and in the end, the Islanders suffered. With each passing game, it is looking unlikely that Le Fondre and Ogbeche can play together in the starting lineup. 

Mumbai’s creativity was one-dimensional with the overwhelming usage of both flanks. Down the middle, the absence of the creativity and vision of Hugo Boumous was clearly felt and star man, who was unavailable for selection, could have helped the team unlock the resilient defence of Jamshedpur. 

The game which was expected to be cagey started out as an end-to-end-affair and ended us a contest in which the spirit and fight of a 10-man team stood out. 

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