Jamshedpur FC inflicted a huge blow to FC Goa's aspirations for a play-off berth with a solitary goal win in an Indian Super League (ISL) match in Bambolim on Friday. (More Football News)
The win took Owen Coyle's men to second place in the league table but kept Derrick Pereira's men stuck at ninth place with four games without a win.
The solitary goal came through Daniel Chima Chukwu (49th minute), who scored on his first outing for Jamshedpur after signing for them in the January transfer window.
The match had an eventful start with Chukwu sending his left-footed shot narrowly wide off the mark.
On the other end, Ivan Gonzalez hit the underside of the crossbar with a header. The rebound fell to Edu Bedia whose low shot was brilliantly saved by TP Rehenesh. The Gaurs threw in more subsequent attacks at the JFC defence but to no avail.
The first half was very feisty to say the least, which led to three yellow cards being handed out to Alex Lima, Anwar Ali and Daniel Chukwu respectively.
The injuries and stoppages led to four minutes of added time but neither team managed to break through the defences and score the opening goal.
The second half started with JFC pushing for a goal and they got one through the debutant Chukwu, whose volley was too powerful for Naveen Kumar. The custodian got both hands on the ball but could not prevent it from slipping into the back of the net.
Ali came close to equalising for the Gaurs past the hour mark but the ball did not go in after hitting the crossbar for the second time.
At the stroke of the 80th minute, Airan Cabrera struck the crossbar for the third time for FC Goa with a left-footed volley.
FC Goa coach Pereira made a host of changes in order to change the course of the match. However, despite creating a plethora of chances, the equaliser eluded them as Coyle's men defended their lead with a collective force and secured the three points.
FC Goa will next face an ambitious Odisha FC in Bambolim on Tuesday while Jamshedpur FC await the challenge of an in-form Bengaluru FC on Saturday at the same venue.