Youngster Aniket Jadhav's second half strike helped Jamshedpur FC beat NorthEast United FC by a solitary goal in their Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 clash on Friday. The match also happened to be the 500th ISL match ever played.
The landmark fixture was set to be a tough challenge for Owen Coyle's Jamshedpur side who were up against the Highlanders, who were unbeaten in their six meetings in ISL 2020-21 heading into the match.
The result not only ended NorthEast's unbeaten streak but also lifted Jamshedpur FC up to the fifth spot, with 10 points. The men of steel are level on points with fourth-placed NorthEast with only goal difference keeping them out of the top four.
Considering Jamshedpur FC played the match with seven players out due to injuries and suspensions, including midfield mainstay Aitor Monroy, who missed the game after being sent off against Mumbai City FC in their last outing, the result was a big one for the Jharkhand-based side.
"We were terrific from start to finish and we deserve the three points. The players gave everything they could and we are building a tremendous spirit but I think we will still continue to get better as the season progresses," said Jamshedpur FC head coach Coyle.
After losing their season opener 2-1 to Chennaiyin FC, Jamshedpur have been stringing together a nifty unbeaten streak of their own with two wins and four draws in their last six matches.
"It was an important win. NorthEast have had an unbeaten start and they have been outstanding.
"But we have also had a good run, we drew some games we think we should've won. Tonight was the game to go and stamp our authority and go up in the table and join NorthEast on points. We fully deserve that," Coyle said.
The gaffer also reserved high praise for goal-scorer Aniket Jadhav and backed the 20-year-old striker for a successful career ahead of him.
"Aniket has pace and power and we just need to give him a bit of understanding of the game. He was outstanding tonight and fully deserves to score the winning goal. I am very pleased with him and he is an amazing Indian talent who I hope will grow and develop," the former Burnley manager stated.