Indian Football

ISL: Azuka header gives Jamshedpur FC’s first win of the season

Nigerian forward Izu Azuka struck in the 60th minute to score the ISL debutants’ first goal of the season.

Jamshedpur FC notched up their maiden win of the Indian Super League beating a struggling Delhi Dynamos in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Nigerian forward Izu Azuka struck in the 60th minute to score ISL newcomers Jamshedpur’s first goal and handed his side the first win after three goal-less draws on the trot.

For the Dynamos, it was their third loss on the trot after beginning the season with a 3-2 win over FC Pune City in an away match. This was their second consecutive loss at home after their 0-2 defeat at the hands of NorthEast United on December 2.

Despite concerns about the poor quality of air in the national capital, it was one of the better days in terms of pollution and the focus was on football. But the 8000-odd crowd who turned up at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium must have returned disappointed with the home side.

Both teams failed to score in the first half.

In the 13th minute, Dynamos captain Kalu Uche was able to find the back of Jamshedpur net off a free-kick by Paulinho Dias but he was ruled off-side to the dismay of the home crowd.

Eight minutes later, it was Jamshedpur’s turn to have a shy at the Dynamos goal. Bikash Jairu darted down the left channel and he had Izu Azuka running on his right.

But Jairu’s square pass was played a little behind Azuka, who managed to get a shot which went just wide of the near post.

A more exciting second half

Jamshedpur were clearly the better side after the break. They were handed a golden chance to take the lead in the 57th minute when Pratik Chowdhary brought down Azuka inside the box.

A penalty kick was awarded but Andre Bikey made a horrible effort from the spot and Dynamos keeper Albino Gaomes dived to his right to stop the weak shot.

But the visitors did not need to wait for long for their first goal of the season as Azuka headed home off a free kick.

Mehtab Hossain took the free kick and sent it inside the box, where Azuka made his run. Nobody picked him up and the Jamshedpur forward connected it with his head after a good leap and beat the keeper Subrata Paul.

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