Jamshedpur played against Hyderabad in the second match week of ISL 2019/20. The match was witnessed by 20,539 spectators at Jamshedpur’s home ground JRD TATA Sports Complex. The newly appointed coach Antonio Iriondo led Jamshedpur to a 2-1 victory in the previous match against Delhi Dynamos. Former Premier League manager Phil Brown took charge of the newly formed Hyderabad. Hyderabad faced a heavy 0-5 loss in the first match week against ATK. In this tactical analysis, we will study Jamshedpur’s game plan and strategies. The following analysis will show how Iriondo’s tactics got better of Hyderabad.
Jamshedpur changed their 3-4-1-2 from the previous match to 4-2-3-1 in this match. Subrata Pal started in the goal. Joyner Lourenco and suspended Bikash Jairu were replaced by Memo and Robin Gurung. They joined Tiri and Keegan Pereira in defence. Mobashir Rahman came in for Noé Acosta in to form double pivot with Aitor Monroy. Isaac Vanmalsawma played on the wings coming in for Aniket Jhadav. Piti kept his place in the midfield. He created the highest chances in the previous game (five) and he brought experience from 148 games in La Liga. Farukh Choudhary and Atlético Madrid B loanee Sergio Castel kept their positions after contributing in goals against Odisha.
Vanmalsawma was replaced by teenager Jhadav in the 62nd minute. Jhadav’s introduction saw Choudhary moving on to the left flank and Jhadav playing on the right. Noe Acosta and Sumeet Passi came in for Piti and Choudhary respectively.
Hyderabad played as 4-1-4-1 changing from 4-2-3-1 of the last game. Kamaljit Singh guarded the goal for Hyderabad. Nikhil Poojari dropped deeper in defence in place of Asish Rai. Rest three Gurtej Singh, Matthew Kilgallon and Sahil Panwar remained unchanged. Marko Stanković and Rohit Kumar replaced Rafael López and Giles Barnes to form a midfield three with Adil Khan. Marcelinho shifted on the right and Mohammad Yasir played on the left. Robin Singh led the line for Hyderabad.
Asish Rai came in for injured Sahil Panwar in the second half. Gani Nigam replaced the goal-scorer Marcelinho on the right flank. 20-year-old Abhishek Halder came in the last few minutes in place of Yasir.
Jamshedpur in possession (Attacking)
Jamshedpur came into the game with the plan to play from the left. Starting from Pal’s distribution itself, be it short passes to either centre-back Tiri or left-back Pereira or going long to Vanmalsawma, everything was directed on the left. At this time Vanmalsawma dropped deeper bringing Hyderabad right-back Poojari along with him to combine with left-back Pereira and left centre-mid Monroy.
This gave space for the forward Castel to drift wider on the left. On the other side, Choudhary stayed wide on the right flank. Piti joined from the midfield as the ball progressed further. He acted as a disguised centre-forward. A 3v3 situation against Hyderabad’s two centre-back and right-back was thus created.
Jamshedpur created overloads on the left flank as the ball moved in opposition’s half. Piti, Monroy, Vanmalsawma and Pereira combined to overload the left flank. Choudhary joined Castel centrally to form a striking pair. Due to this, Jamshedpur had two players in the box to provide a threat. 51% of their attacks came from the left, 45% from the centre and just 4% from the right.
Choudhary’s central movement and pace enabled him to react to rebounds not once but twice. On the second occasion, Piti performed Andrés Iniesta’s signature move ‘La Croqueta’. Hence he got away from the tackle which eventually led to a shot. Kamaljit Singh blocked the shot only to find Choudhary in the centre to finish the rebound. Thus Farukh Choudhary gave the lead to Jamshedpur in the 34th minute of the game.
Although Hyderabad’s Marcelinho started on the right, he surged higher to play as a second striker close to Robin Singh. Hence Adil Khan had to move to the left to cover for him defensively. Jamshedpur’s overload on the left forced Stanković to cover his full-back in the wide area. This shift of Hyderabad’s midfield on the left flank to compensate for the overload created a void in the centre. Jamshedpur’s right midfielder and deep runners exploited this space ahead of Hyderabad’s defensive line for shooting. Substitute Jhadav made an inside run into this space to score the second goal for the team.
Jamshedpur out of possession (Defending)
Jamshedpur divided the field diagonally when the ball was in Hyderabad’s half. Choudhary, Piti and Castel blocked their right channel. In the meantime, Vanmalsawma joined the midfield to create midfield three slightly oriented on the left. There were two particular reasons to do that. They intended to stop Hyderabad’s build-up from their right channel and forced them to play it back to their centre-backs.
Secondly, they allowed Stanković to play between the lines to midfielders Khan and Kumar. Vanmalsawma dropping in the midfield also left Poojari as an option to switch the play. Kumar and Khan were left unmarked as they were the pressing traps set by Jamshedpur. They allowed Hyderabad to play through the centre. On receiving the ball, Kumar and Khan were pressed aggressively by Monroy and Rahman. Vanmalsawma looked to press Poojari when he received the ball.
Hyderabad attacked in a 4-4-2 with Marcelinho playing close to Robin Singh. Hence to attain balance defensively, Jamshedpur defended in a 4-4-1-1 in their half. The midfield duo, Monroy and Rahman were very compact during the course of the game. They provided defensive cover to their full-backs together in order to maintain compactness.
Jamshedpur justified their name ‘Men of steel’ with their defensive display. They employed aggressive man-to-man marking in the last line of defence. Hyderabad’s ball receiving attackers who dropped into space were tracked aggressively by one of the defenders. The rest three narrowed down to cover the space behind. This was imperative since Hyderabad’s build-up was often going long to the striker. Jamshedpur’s back four won 10 of their 12 aerial duels. Memo and Tiri were too good for Hyderabad’s attackers. Their partnership won 19 out of the 20 defensive duels.
After winning the ball, Jamshedpur’s players played the ball back to their defence. This helped them secure the possession and break the opposition press. Castel and Choudhary stretched the opposition wide for their defenders to play long balls in channels. Castel scored the 3rd goal for Jamshedpur after receiving a long ball from Memo in the channel between the centre-backs.
Jamshedpur’s counter-press was subjective to Hyderabad’s forward actions. Jamshedpur players were happy to see the opposition play lateral and backward passes. The idea was to delay and buy time for reorganization since the wingers committed high on the pitch. As we can see from Piti’s low posture, he is enforcing a lateral pass and delaying forward movement. However, if Hyderabad looked to play forward through the wings then Monroy and Rahman pressed with intensity to stop them.
Jamshedpur’s 45% of the goals came through set-pieces since the start of last season. Although this game didn’t see a similar impact from the set-pieces under the new manager Antonio Iriondo. The free-kicks were taken short in most part of the game in order to keep possession. That didn’t mean Jamshedpur didn’t have it planned out. Left-footed Piti delivered dangerous inswingers from corners, all aimed at far-post and beyond. Memo was the natural target from his delivery (three out of the four set-pieces taken by Piti). In the above picture, all the four players in the box made a run towards the near-post. Memo was positioned well outside the box to stay unmarked. Piti aimed at the far-post where Memo had space to run in. Unfortunately, Hyderabad managed to deal with it.
Jamshedpur conceded six corners in the game. The principle was as defending in open-play, man-to-man marking. Each player inside the box was marked tightly. Jamshedpur stationed the same number of players on the line of the 18-yard box as there were outside the box from Hyderabad. These players were blockers, a man for each to stop deep runners into the box. Jamshedpur prioritised overloading the near post in order to nullify Robin Singh’s aerial threat. However, the far post was always a liability due to lack of zonal cover.
In the 45th minute, Kumar played a quick free-kick to Marcelinho causing a nightmare for the Jamshedpur defence. He took on Pereira in a one v one. A step over and a feint got him away from his man and a near-post finish gave Hyderabad the equaliser. Marcelinho was the obvious threat for Jamshedpur having scored a goal and providing an assist last time he played against them.
By overloading the left side, Jamshedpur showed a classic example of how to effectively set-up an asymmetric system. Opportunistic Jamshedpur used the space left by Hyderabad ahead of the last line of defence effectively. The backline functioned as an impenetrable fortress and set an example for a solid organisation. Hyderabad fought hard on every touch of the ball but that wasn’t just enough for them.