ISL 2020-21: Late Eze goal helps Jamshedpur hold Hyderabad to 1-1 draw

A late equaliser from Stephen Eze cancelled out Aridane Santana's opening goal as Jamshedpur FC held Hyderabad FC to a 1-1 draw at the Tilak Maidan in Goa.

Jamshedpur FC star Stephen Eze celebrates his goal against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League on Wednesday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

A bullet strike from Stephen Eze five minutes from time earned Jamshedpur FC a 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Wednesday.

The defender’s thunderous drive from just inside the penalty area cancelled out Aridane Santana’s opener for Hyderabad early in the second half. Peter Hartley could have secured Jamshedpur its first win of the campaign, but his header from close range in the dying minutes flew over the bar.

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The evening ended in agony for Hyderabad when coach Manolo Marquez was shown a red card for entering the pitch. The side will also be fretting over a hamstring injury to mainstay Santana, that resulted in the striker being stretchered off in the 80th minute. Hyderabad, though unbeaten, has already lost forward Joel Chianese and creative midfielder Lluis Sastre to injuries.

Going into the match, much depended on Hyderabad’s and Jamshedpur’s abilities to feed their respective target men, Santana and Nerijus Valskis. But neither player received the service he would have liked. The Hyderabad trio of Halicharan Narzary, Liston Colaco and Mohammed Yasir buzzed early on, but couldn’t find Santana. Valskis cut a frustrating figure too, unhappy with his teammates’ habit of hoofing the ball upfield aimlessly.

Jamshedpur’s first chance came when Hyderabad goalie Laxmikant Kattimani was forced to tip over a fine first-time shot by Jackichand Singh on 24 minutes. Just before half-time, Hyderabad came close through Narzary, who cut in from the left-flank and drilled a shot that went off the far post.

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Hyderabad broke the deadlock on 50 minutes when Santana bundled in a rebound after Jamshedpur goalie Pawan Kumar made a mess of Narzary’s shot from the edge of the box.

With 20 minutes left, controversy erupted when Jamshedpur was denied an equaliser. Kattimani tried to fist an incoming free-kick but it hit Santana and boomeranged into the goal. The referee disallowed it after deeming Hartley offside, but subsequent replays showed otherwise.

Eze, however, ensured that Jamshedpur wouldn’t leave the pitch without a share of the spoils.

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