The hosts came from behind to lead but then conceded a late equaliser as the match ended in a draw.
Jamshedpur FC were held to a 2 – 2 draw against Mumbai City FC in Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Friday. The league debutants fought back from being a goal down to lead on the night, only to concede 20 minutes for time. Hero of the Match Izu Azuka netted a brace, as the hosts scored and conceded twice in a match for the first time this season.
Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was Jamshedpur head coach Steve Coppell. The Englishman began by analysing positives and negatives from the match.
“Looking at the first half, once again we started strongly. They (Mumbai City FC) obviously have quality and it showed in both their goals. I thought it was a real challenge for the team to respond after conceding. I think that’s just what they did. They really, really had a go. The effort level and the intensity was top quality.”
Coppell continued: “We went 2-1 up but we know that Mumbai are dangerous. We had a really strong spell at the start of the second half and we needed to score then. And Mumbai rotate their players around in different positions. And it’s sad when we conceded the second goal because the players gave everything. I can only compliment on the way they went about the task tonight.”
He further explained that while their attacking was up to the task against the Islanders, it was the defensive lapses that let them down. “In terms of attacking play, I think it was our best,” Coppell opined. “Defensively, we were the losers because we tried to commit more players forward. But all in all, I can’t complain. It was our best performance at home, we got in some great positions around the touchline, that final ball wasn’t accurate enough. I think it’s pleasing but in many ways, we shouldn’t have given away the three points.”
Before concluding, he gave an update regarding star defender Anas Edathodika’s groin injury. “Physically he has recovered,” the 62-year-old revealed. “But there’s a big difference between running on a training pitch and playing in the heat of the competition. Again, the pitch was a big concern for me because his groin is what lifts his leg out of the ground. He hasn’t played for a month and he’s only had three days training with the rest of the team. I hope that… he’ll be more match fit soon.”
Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was Mumbai City’s head coach Alexandre Guimaraes.
While the Costa Rican acknowledged that it was a tough match, he was pleased with the end result. “We knew that it was going to be a tough match,” he said. “We just lost control in the last 7-8 minutes in the first half. Our opponents tried to establish a pattern of the offensive game which was totally different. At the end, we reacted very well after conceding two goals in five minutes. Our modifications in the second half worked, we got the draw and I think we finished the game better than our opponents.”
When asked if he thought that the draw was a fair reflection of the game, the 58-year-old replied: “Today for us, we tried to win the game. We started well but just lost control towards the end of the first half. But it was important to come back alive. The draw is a good result for us because it keeps us with pack of the teams. We have a whole week to prepare for the home games.”
The pitch in Jamshedpur has been under the scanner since the start of the season and Guimaraes was quick to express his displeasure with the pitch that his players had to compete on. “From the games that I have seen, the pitch was not better than the other games (so far),” he opined.