Final game before the break. A team badly needing all three points after a string of draws. An opponent chasing their first win of the season. Before the December break, Jamshedpur FC were presented with an opportunity to claim all three points and a move back into the top four when they hosted Delhi Dynamos at the Furnace.
And just what the doctor had ordered, the home side sealed a memorable comeback victory over the Dynamos, courtesy of two fine goals from Tim Cahill and Farukh Choudhary. Jamshedpur FC went into the game with just one win in their last five matches and needed a statement victory to build on the solid foundation that they had achieved at the start of the season.
Cesar Ferrando started with Tim Cahill upfront while the experienced Dhanachandra Singh was brought back into the side, promoting Bikash Jairu to his favoured position on the wing. The match began with Delhi Dynamos dominating possession and exploiting Jamshedpur FC's high line of defence.
As early as in the second minute, Adria Carmona hit the upright with a stinging left foot strike. The away side were looking settled in the game and were dictating the proceedings. The Dynamos got what they deserved in the 24th minute when Lallianzuala Chhangte volleyed home the first goal of the game, amidst another defensive lapse from the Jamshedpur FC defenders.
But one thing that Cesar Ferrando's men has shown aplenty this season has been a character to never give up. Five minutes after going down, Jamshedpur FC earned a corner. A set-piece routine saw Carlos Calvo cross a delicious delivery in the box. Tim Cahill was waiting for it! And just as the man has done a bazillion times in his playing career, the Australian rose the highest and headed home his second goal of the season.
The match went into the break with honours shared and a lot to be desired for from the home side, in terms of performance levels. The beginning of the second half saw a frantic pace to the game with both sides struggling for composure when in possession. Then came the turning point of the match! Just after the hour mark, Jamshedpur FC earned another corner with Calvo ready to take the set-piece.
The Spaniard's initial cross was not at his regular impressive level but a scramble in the box delivered a golden opportunity for youngster, Farukh Choudhary. The striker standing at the edge of the box, controlled the ball with calmness beyond his age, took one stride and hit a bullet of a shot to take Jamshedpur FC into the lead and send the crowd into delirium.
That goal was worthy of winning any game and it turned out to be just the case as Jamshedpur FC held onto a nervy last few minutes to register their fourth win of the season. With this win, the side from Jharkhand have again made their way into the playoff spots.
The thing from which Jamshedpur FC can take heart is the fact that they were able to churn out a victory against a difficult opponent, despite not being at their fluent best. This trait will definitely help the squad when the season resumes and the team will be in need of churning out victories one after the other.
To end the calendar year on a high note was the need of the hour and Cesar Ferrando's men delivered when it mattered the most. Doing that with injuries to numerous key players in the squad made this win extra special. Meanwhile, two special goals from two special players added the cherry on top!