The fifth-placed ISL team beat the I-League champions on penalties.
Jamshedpur FC held their composure to qualify for the quarter-final of the Hero Super Cup by winning 5-4 on penalties against Hero I-League 2017-18 champions Minerva Punjab FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Jamshedpur custodian Sanjiban Ghosh’s heroics ensured that the scoreline remained 0-0 after 120 minutes of play before he came back again to save Bali Gagandeep’s penalty that won them the match.
Steve Coppell, the winning club’s head coach was asked by the media in the post-match press conference as to how he would rate Ghosh’s brilliant performance. “He has been a terrific understudy for Subrata Paul all season,” he admitted. “He has worked very hard on a daily basis and tonight was just a reward for all the hard work he has put in. He made some terrific saves today.”
The Englishman further went on to add his take on the format of the tournament. “At this time, for both leagues, extra-time really isn’t necessary,” he shared. “The penalties are entertaining and people have no strength in their legs during extra-time. Ninety minutes are enough to decide. Players can easily get long-term injuries and clubs will suffer.”
From Minerva’s end, their head coach Khogen Singh was present to take the media’s question and did believe that luck was the differentiating factor at the end of the day. “We had two open chances which we missed, so it was bad luck for us,” he said. He also didn’t feel that his team had fitness issues, “I don’t think the players had a fitness issue. The humidity is very high and the boys needed hydration. Jamshedpur had a good side.”
After Chennaiyin FC’s loss on Saturday coupled with Minerva bowing out, it means that none of the champions of the season will contest further in the competition. When asked the reason for the same, Singh remarked, “The league is different from the cup. In a league, you can pick up after losing a match. But in a tournament, every game is like a final.”