Jamshedpur FC beat Bengaluru FC 1-0 at the Fatorda on Monday, thanks to Stephen Eze's 79th minute goal. The result allowed Jamshedpur to leapfrog Bengaluru and move into third on the table, with 13 points from nine matches. BFC stay fourth with 12 points from eight games.
BFC had made two changes from their last match, bringing in Suresh Singh Wangjam and Kristian Opseth in place of Udanta Singh and Deshorn Brown while Jamshedpur made just one change as Mobashir Rahman replaced Isaac Vanmalsawma.
For the vast majority of the match, it was an end-to-end affair.
BFC took just three minutes to register their first shot on target. Kristian Opseth's freekick nearly curled into the bottom corner, only to be kept out by a diving TP Rehenesh.
BFC continued to pour forward but kept missing chances. Sunil Chhetri was put through on goal by a brilliant Suresh pass, but the skipper's shot from a good position was deflected behind. Off the resultant corner, Dimas found Chhetri, but his effort sailed over the bar.
JFC had their first big chance in the 17th minute when Aniket Jadhav drilled in a low cross for an unmarked Nerijus Valskis, only for the Lithuanian to smash it well over the bar. Jamshedpur had another chance when Alexandre Lima kept an Aitor Monroy corner alive and squared the ball to Eze. However, Dimas Delgado cleared Eze's shot on goal.
Rehenesh's brilliance at the half-hour mark kept the score at 0-0. It was two against one for BFC when Chhetri set Suresh on goal. With just the keeper to beat, Suresh laid it for Cleiton Silva, but his weak pass was well intercepted by Rehenesh, and then clawed away a second time as well.
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Both teams kept knocking on the door with Chhetri missing another attempt for BFC while Gurpreet Singh denied Jackichand Singh with a smart save.
In the second start, Jamshedpur were denied at the hour mark by two vital blocks. First Peter Hartley saw his weak shot saved by Gurpreet. The rebound fell into Eze's path and Bheke blocked his goal-bound shot.
JFC finally broke the deadlock through Eze, who scored his third goal of the season. Lima played a pass forward to Aniket on the right and the latter floated a cross in the box. Eze got past his marker and dived low to score past Gurpreet. With just five minutes left on the clock, Rehenesh denied Bheke with a point-blank save.
Bengaluru play table-toppers Mumbai City on Jan 5. Jamshedpur meanwhile finally have a bit of break, with their next match coming on Jan 10 vs Kerala Blasters.