Nerijus Valskis broke a nine-match goalless run to strike a brace and marshal Jamshedpur FC to a 3-1 win over FC Goa at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, on Friday.
Lithuanian striker Valskis was the star of the game as he scored twice in the second half to ensure the Men of Steel secured their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) season.
FC Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, who was named in the 2021 AFC Champions League Team of the Season, made a string of stirring saves to deny Valskis and Len Doungel in the opening half. The second half, though, was a different tale.
Both sides came out with renewed purpose and it was FC Goa that nearly drew first blood. Edu Bedia’s free-kick, begging to be converted, was a chance that was squandered in the 49th minute and TP Rehenesh produced a stunning save to deny Alberto Noguera the very next minute.
FC Goa was left to rue its misses as Valskis’ scored a long-due goal in the 51st minute. The 34-year-old drilled a low shot past Dheeraj to put his side ahead and returned to torment the Gaurs defence exactly 10 minutes later as he leapt beyond his marker to nod home Greg Stweart’s inch-perfect free-kick. Things only went from bad to worse for FC Goa as Jordan Murray, who came on in the 80th minute, scored within seconds of his introduction to triple Jamshedpur’s lead.
Staring at a second successive loss, FC Goa threw the proverbial kitchen sink with the hopes of a late comeback. Bedia hit the woodwork and Airam Cabrera scored in the 86th minute but it was too little too late. Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur withstood the late pressure to claim only its third win in nine games against FC Goa.