Jamshedpur FC played out their third goalless draw in a row, this time against defending champions ATK at home in the Indian Super League in Jamshedpur on Friday.
Jamshedpur’s Jerry Mawhmingthanga and ATK’s Bipin Singh and Njazi Kuqi all missed chances but visiting goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and his home side counterpart Subrata Paul were superb on the day.
It was a cagey game that left managers ATK and Jamshedpur coaches Teddy Sheringham and Steve Coppell winless so far in the fourth season of the ISL.
It took almost half an hour for the first meaningful attack of the day as Tom Thorpe lost the ball to Jamshedpur’s Kervens Belfort, whose shot rebounded and eventually fell to team-mate Jerry. The youngster’s stinging shot hit the side-netting. It was just the attack needed to add a spark to the proceedings.
ATK then had the ball in the net via Hitesh Sharma but the enterprising midfielder was ruled offside. The premature celebration led to more frustration for the Kolkata side.
Jerry was at it again when he took a low shot at the near post where former Premier League goalkeeper Jaaskelainen was there to effect an excellent save.
ATK certainly lost some creativity in the midfield when they lost Eugeneson Lyngdoh to injury before half-time.
ATK’s Prabir Das swung in a dangerous ball towards Robin Singh whose flick would have found Bipin, but this time it was Paul’s chance to shine with some brilliant anticipation.
Faroukh Chowdhury’s shot was palmed away by Jaaskelainen on the hour mark as Coppell replaced Belfort with Izu Azuka in search of a goal.
At the other end, Paul was alert to a shot from distance from Conor Thomas as ATK also started throwing bodies forward.
But despite the action, there was no goal to relish for the 23,891 fans who had turned up on Jamshedpur’s home debut.
As the game died out, ATK’s Kuqi got the best chance of the match when Bipin’s ball found him at the far post. Even with time and space, the Finnish striker completely miscued his effort.
There were no more efforts in the last 10 minutes from either side. Both are winless this season. ATK now travel to Chennai and Jamshedpur will make the trip to Delhi.