Jamshedpur FC on Tuesday qualified for their maiden Indian Super League semifinals with a clinical 3-0 win over Hyderabad FC in a top-of-the-table clash in Bambolim on Tuesday. (More Football News)
The result saw Jamshedpur knocking Hyderabad FC off their perch in the table, besides qualifying for the semifinals for the first time. The only blemish in an otherwise spotless performance for Jamshedpur was the sending off of Mobashir Rahman in the 68th minute.
Chinglensana Singh (5th minute) scored an own goal to help Jamshedpur take the lead before skipper Peter Hartley (28th) and Daniel Chima Chukwu (65th) struck to take the game away from Hyderabad.
Jamshedpur now are in pole position with 37 points from 18 matches, two more than Hyderabad (35 points) with a game in hand.
The result is more creditable as Jamshedpur won against the leaders without Greg Stewart, who has been arguably their best player. Stewart is serving a one-match suspension after picking up four yellow cards.
Hyderabad made a lot of changes to the side from the last game with Bart Ogbeche also not kept in the mix.
After the game started on a frantic note, Chinglensana put the ball in his own net after a Mobashir Rahman's low shot took a wicked deflection off his foot and wrong-footed goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh, who was playing for the first time this season in place of seasoned custodian Laxmikant Kattimani.
The early goal hurt the league leaders as they shifted gears, seeing more of the ball in the final third with Jamshedpur pressing them higher up the park. Aniket Jadhav pulled wide after beating his marker with a neat piece of skill.
But Jamshedpur doubled their advantage from a set-piece. Alexandre Lima swung in a delightful corner for Hartley to leap highest and head home across the face of goal leaving Gurmeet rooted to his spot.
At half time, the Men of Steel led 2-0 and in the second half, the Owen Coyle-coached side never took their foot off the pedal.
Hartley came close to doubling his goal tally from a corner and Chima dragged wide from close. The in-form Nigerian did not have to wait too long though for a goal, slotting home a botched Khassa Camara clearance which was set up for him by Lima.
Hyderabad could have pulled one back but Javier Siverio missed from close range.