ISL 2024: FC Goa meet Jamshedpur FC in a must-win clash to fuel League Shield hopes

FC Goa travel to take on Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Tuesday, hoping to maintain their chances of winning the League Shield. The Red Miners have already crashed out of the race to qualify for the playoffs. However, the Gaurs are very much in contention for the League Shield title.

 FC Goa travel to take on Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Tuesday, hoping to maintain their chances of winning the League Shield. The Red Miners have already crashed out of the race to qualify for the playoffs. However, the Gaurs are very much in contention for the League Shield title.

Currently placed fourth with 39 points from 20 games, they need to win both their remaining games to get to 45 and have a chance of finishing the league stages at the top. At the same time, they will need Mumbai City FC to lose their last two matches against Odisha FC and the Mohun Bagan Super Giant.

After a minor setback since the season restarted in late January, FC Goa have recovered slightly by winning thrice and drawing twice in their last five games. Contrastingly, Jamshedpur FC had begun the second half of the season strongly but dropping 11 points out of a possible 15 from their previous five encounters has made them bow out of the hotly contested race for sixth place.

Jamshedpur FC have been winless in their last three matches against FC Goa, facing a 1-0 loss in their latest encounter. Could this game turn things around for them, given that the Red Miners have never gone four straight games without winning against the Gaurs in the ISL? Things haven’t unfolded in a manner that they would have liked at home this season though.

Currently, Jamshedpur FC are on a run of eight games where they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their own backyard. The last time they didn’t concede a goal on their home turf was against Punjab FC in October 2023.

It is a team whose offensive endeavours depend massively on outplaying the opposition on the flanks and delivering accurate crosses into the box. For instance, Jamshedpur FC have made 15.1 crosses from the open play in the current campaign, second only to the top-placed FC Goa (19.3) in this regard.

As Jamshedpur FC is struggling to keep a clean sheet at home, FC Goa are encountering no problems in finding the back of the net on the road. The Gaurs have notched a strike in each of their last eight away matches. The only time they have gone on a longer run than this was a sequence of 11 matches from January 2016-2018. FC Goa need to be wary of wrapping up games neatly though, given that they have conceded 33% of their goals in the final 15 minutes of their matches this season.

On the contrary, Jamshedpur FC have notched 35% of goals in this period, which is the second highest such share for any team, behind only Hyderabad FC, i.e. 56%. A win at all costs is of utmost importance for the Gaurs to not fall off balance in their pursuit of the League Shield. So far, the two teams have played 13 matches with FC Goa winning seven and Jamshedpur FC bagging 4 while two games have ended in draws.

(IANS)