Missed opportunities, marching order and controversial decisions, the Indian Super League clash between Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC saw it all. Aridane Santana scored his second goal of the campaign to give Hyderabad a 50th-minute lead but an 85th minute Stephen Eze strike meant the Nizams had to settle for a 1-1 draw. With this result, Hyderabad remain unbeaten in the league while Jamshedpur FC are yet to taste victory.
Here are the five talking points from the match:
The standard of refereeing in this year's Indian Super League has been a mixed bag. In a lot of games, the refereeing has been pretty solid while there have been controversial decisions in some. One example of controversial refereeing was during the Hyderabad-Jamshedpur game when referee Raktim Saha and his troop looked out of sorts.
From wrong goal-kick decision to missing out on blatant fouls, it was a bad day at the office for the officials. However, the ruling that took the cake came in the 71st minute. Jamshedpur were chasing the game and Isaac Vanmalsawma put in a brilliant ball forward from a free-kick in the middle of the box. Hyderabad goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani came off his line to punch the ball away when Peter Hartley was also trying to get his head to it. Kattimani ended up punching it straight at his own teammate (Santana) and it ricocheted off him straight into the goal. Jamshedpur players started celebrating the goal but just then the referee disallowed the goal after the linesman raised his flag.
A furious Owen Coyle then tore apart the linesman after the game. The Jamshedpur manager said that they were robbed by the official. "I don't want any trouble but anybody who knows football has seen that the referee has given the goal and then the linesman invented a handball because it never had anybody's handball. We have been robbed because that's what happened."
LISTON COLACO CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
He is fast, he is tricky, he can shoot. The 22-year-old winger from Goa has continued to hog the limelight with his impressive displays this season. After coming off the bench twice, Manuel Marquez handed the former FC Goa man a start and he was one of the better players on the pitch from the teams.
Right from the word go he was looking dangerous. He showed maturity beyond his age to support the defence while impressing on his attacking duties. He nearly got his name on the scoresheet when his 12th-minute free-kick beat the wall but failed to find the goal. And he was brilliant in even setting up Narzary in the early parts of the second half, who made a mess of the chance.
VALSKIS NEEDS BETTER SERVICE
The Red Mariners have acquired the goal machine in the form of Nerijus Valskis and he has hit the ground running with three goals already. But just like in real life, a machine needs a proper hander, Valskis needs a proper provider. Jackichand Singh was brought in from Bengaluru to fill that role, however, he is yet to fulfil that completely.
Coyle went with a 4-3-3 formation against Hyderabad with Valskis in the middle and Jacki and Alex Lima on either side. However, apart from Jackichand, none of the forwards had a shot on goal despite the other two keeping the HFC defenders on their toes in the first quarter of the game.
Also, an off day for the Lithuanian targetman means an off day for Jamshedpur. To put that into context, Valskis has found the back of the net three times and Jamshedpur have scored four goals in total this season so far.
HYDERABAD YET TO FIND CLARITY IN FINAL THIRD
Hyderabad FC despite being the better team statistically had to settle for a draw against Jamshedpur FC. Let me throw in some numbers to make it clear. Manuel Marquez' side played more number of successful passes (HFC - 240; JFC- 216), they had more shots on goal (HFC- 5; JFC-2), they got four corners which was again one more than JFC. However, they fired blank throughout the game apart from that goal, which was gifted by the JFC stand-in custodian Pawan Kumar to Aridane.
Liston Colaco was a headache for the defenders, Mohammed Yasir had a wonderful game even Halicharan Narzary was impressive with his forward runs and darting shots when he almost scored the opener for the Nizams. Even HFC's assistant coach Thangboi Singto rued the missed chances. Singto said, "We need to score goals but it's not that easy… Aridane is our main guy but this is a big platform for any of the youngsters to shine. Going forward, hopefully, we can score more goals and win more matches."
COYLE KNOWS HOW TO PUMP UP HIS TEAM
It was truly a game of two halves at the Tilak Maidan on Wednesday, well, at least for Jamshedpur FC. There was a team which played the first half and then there was a team that played in the second after getting those 15 minutes with the experienced gaffer.
Peter Hartley and team had a different intensity in the second 45 after Coyle introduced some fresh legs. Despite conceding very early in the second half, Jamshedpur went on with their business. They looked more threatening of the two and did find the goal twice but had only one of them allowed. Their crosses improved and so did their passing. They could have had a winner right at the death when Peter Hartley connected with the ball, only to head it over.