Jamshedpur FC struck to a precise plan and picked up a solitary goal win against ATK Mohun Bagan to ensure the top spot and the League Winner’s Shield, in the concluding match of the ISL-8 at Fatorda on Monday.
It was a great moment for the Red Miners who lifted the Shield for the first time in its history.
The memorable win helped Jamshedpur FC accomplish a tournament record of seven straight wins. It also bagged the record of completing the league stage with the highest accumulation of 43 points in the tournament history (the previous best was 40 points shared by Bengaluru FC, Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan).
Jamshedpur was compact in defending and precise in utilising the scoring opportunity in turning the important match in its favour. Needing a draw to ensure the top spot finish, Jamshedpur FC put up a solid defending act to see off the initial offensives from ATKMB, which went firing all cylinders looking to win by a margin of two or more goals.
ATKMB tried in vain to open up Jamshedpur’s defensive organisation, which held strong under the charge of the doughty centre-backs in captain Peter Hartley and Eli Sabia.
ATKMB had a couple of chances in the first 20 minutes. The first one, attempted by Subhasish Bose went wide while the second effort coming in the 17th minute off Joni Kauko was brilliantly blocked by Hartley.
Ritwik Das gave JFC the winning moment in the 57th minute when he neatly placed the ball home past a hapless ATKMB goalkeeper Amrinder Singh after receiving the ball off a deflected Greg Stewart effort.
AS IT HAPPENED:
The play-offs will see Jamshedpur FC taking on the fourth-placed Kerala Blasters in the first leg of the semifinals on March 11 while ATKMB, which finished third with 37 points, will meet second-placed Hyderabad FC (38) in the second match on March 12. The second leg matches are on March 15 and 16.
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