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Izuka earns first ISL win for Jamshedpur
After playing three successive draws, debutant Jamshedpur FC won their first Indian Super League match, defeating home team Delhi Dynamos 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, here on Friday.
A solitary goal by Nigerian Azuka Izu in 60th minute was enough to seal the faith of the match as home side never made any threatening claims to score.
After a dull first half where both teams struggled to entertain the crowd with slow football, things took a turn for the good in the second half after Delhi's Pratik Choudhary fouled striker Azuka inside the box. However, the glorious chance to score the first goal of the season for his club was agonisingly wasted by defender Andre Bikey. Shot-stopper Albino Gomes make a dive to his right to save a weak shot by the Cameroonian.
But the disappointment soon turned into joy for the travelling side as Azu Izuka headed in the first goal from close range. The goal resulted from a pin-point indirect free-kick taken by Mehtab Hussain to the Nigerian, who calmly lobbed it over the goalkeeper.
Jamshedpur's substitute Sameegh Doutie had a glorious chance to score another goal for his team after he ran free from the centre towards Delhi's goalpost with just substitute goalkeeper Sukhadev Patil to beat but a delay in decision making allowed centre-back Gabriel Cichero to track back and block Doutie's shot.
Earlier, Dynamos keeping most of the ball possession (66 percent) and Jamshedpur defending deep in numbers, the first half turned out to be a dull affair. Aware of the threat that Delhi is capable of creating from the flanks, Coppell set up a defensive 4-4-2 formation which blocked the spaces for the Dynamos' wingers.
Chhangte, back in starting line-up after the last game, won a lot of free-kicks for his side as he was fouled often. Delhi looked threatening from those opportunities as Paulinho delivered some accurate free-kicks inside the box. But good goalkeeping by Subrata Paul and a disallowed goal because of offside came to Jamshedpur's rescue early in the match.
Jamshedpur, who came into the match looking for their first goal of the season, looked threatening from the counter-attacks they created. The best chance for them arrived in 22nd minute after Memo won the ball from Chhangte in the midfield and played Bikas Jairu free on left. His cross was shot inches wide off the post by striker Azuka Izu.
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