ISL 2020-21 news: NorthEast United moves fifth with 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC

Goals from Ashutosh Mehta and Deshorn Brown helped NorthEast United FC defeat Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in a 2020-21 Indian Super League game at the Tilak Maidan.

NorthEast United players and staff celebrate new signing Deshorn Brown's goal against Jamshedpur FC in the ISL on Sunday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Ashutosh Mehta’s first goal in the Indian Super League and Deshorn Brown’s strike on debut saw NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) earn a 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC (JFC) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Sunday.

NEUFC, winning for the first time in eight games, climbs to the fifth spot with 15 points from 12 games while Jamshedpur slips to eighth. Ashutosh put the Highlanders, now under the guidance of interim head coach Khalid Jamil, ahead in the 36th minute with a thumping header off Federico Gallego’s corner.

MATCH BLOG | ISL 2020-21 highlights: NorthEast United beats Jamshedpur FC 2-1

This was the 28-year-old defender’s first goal in over three years. Incidentally, his last goal came when he was playing under coach Jamil during Aizawl FC’s I-League title-winning 2017-18 season. Brown, who joined NEUFC two days ago, capped off the win at the hour-mark.

The Jamaica forward got at the end of Gallego’s through-ball and slotted it past the ‘keeper with finesse. JFC spent a large majority of the opening half on the back-foot, scampering to deal with a barrage of attacks from the Highlanders.

Luis Machado and Gallego were the key men as they orchestrated one move after the other, but the side’s finishing was found wanting.

NEUFC squandered a great chance in the 29th minute when some poor communication saw team-mates Idrissa Sylla and Machado compete for the same ball. V. P. Suhair drilled a cross for an onrushing Khassa Camara, but both Sylla and Machado, at the centre of the box, tried to have a crack at goal and wasted the opportunity.

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It was a classic case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Despite the missed chances, Jamil’s men were the better XI in the first half and continued to dominate after the interval as well. JFC struggled to thread passes together and looked off-colour against a team that it had never lost to, until Sunday.

Nerijus Valskis, JFC’s top-scorer with eight goals this season, endured a poor outing. The Lithuanian’s best chance came in the 72nd minute when the NEUFC ‘keeper directed his goal-kick straight at Valskis, but he failed to convert despite the one-on-one opportunity.

Peter Hartley offered JFC a late lifeline with a goal in the 89th minute. The skipper nearly turned provider minutes later as he played a terrific lob for Valskis in the box, but the ponytailed striker couldn’t keep his header on target and went on to rest his head against the post in exasperation. That reaction summed up Jamshedpur’s performance, which saw the side lose its third game on the trot.

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