Jamshedpur FC notched up its maiden win of the Indian Super League with a solitary goal victory over struggling Delhi Dynamos here on Wednesday.
Nigerian forward Izu Azuka struck in the 60th minute to score ISL newcomer Jamshedpur’s first goal and hand his side the first win after three goalless draws on the trot.
For Dynamos, it was their third consecutive loss 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 the 2-0 defeat at the hands of NorthEast United FC on December 2.
Despite concerns of poor quality of air in the national capital prior to today’s match, 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 at the show of the home side.
Neither side could find a way to score in the first half as each had one shot on target.
Dynamos had over 60% possession but there was nothing worth mentioning except for a disallowed goal.
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 minute later, it was the turn of Jamshedpur 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 nonetheless managed to get a shot which was just wide of the near post.
The second half was more action-filled as compared to the first 45 minutes.
Jamshedpur FC was clearly the better side after the break and it was handed a golden chance to take the lead in the 57th minute when Pratik Chowdhary brought down Azuka inside the box just moments before the Jamshedpur forward was about to release a shot at the goal.
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 at the stroke of the hour mark off a free kick.
Mehtab Hossain took the free kick and curled it in right in the middle of 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 comfortably.
The Dynamos applied pressure in the closing stages of the match but their forwards were toothless and midfield lacked creativity and they rarely threatened the Jamshedpur goal.