MINOO FERNANDES | NT
FATORDA: FC Goa got back to winning big as they hammered NorthEast United FC 5-1 in an exciting Indian Super League (ISL) match played at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Friday.
Coro, FC Goa’s goal scoring machine and the highest scorer in the league so far, netted a double as he found the mark in the 59th and 84th minute. Their other goals were scored by Eudardo Bedia (69th minute), Hugo Boumous (71st minute) and substitute Minguel Palance (90th minute).
FC Goa started the match on an offensive note and stifled the rival defence with continuous raids. In the very second minute from the start, attacking medio Jakichand Singh sped down the right flank but on entering the six yard box he failed to give finishing touches to the ball from a difficult angle and ended in shooting off the target.
Soon after, defender Seriton Fernandes after conducting a good run on the right flank and on reaching arm’s distance from the rival goal, shot the ball wide.
The hosts, who were in the ascendency, continued playing good game and maintained pressure on the rivals. During one such move in the 9th minute, medio Hugo Boumous sent a neat cross but two of the FC Goa players — Coro and Jackichand — were little late to rush in and as a result of which could not connect the ball.
Suddenly, the highlanders came up with a lightening break away move as their Uruguayan import Federico Gallego took a shot from the top of box that however flew over FC Goa bar, without causing much of a threat.
FC Goa continued coming up strongly with more intent, but their shots lacked direction and precision to beat the rival keeper Pawan Kumar.
The beginning of the second session saw NEUFC medio Redeem Tlang almost score as he raced deep inside the FC Goa box only to be blocked by FC Goa keeper Mohammad Nawaz for an abortive flag kick.
FC Goa went into the lead in the 59th minute when Jackichand Singh crossed the ball into the rival goalmouth, allowing Coro to seize the opportunity as he tapped the ball inside the rival nets with his raised outstretched left leg.
The early second half goal gave FC Goa the much needed boost as from there on they looked cohesive in their approach.
The Gaurs buttressed their lead in the 69th minute when medio Eduardo Bedia ran solo and then in great style chipped the ball over the rival keeper to bulge the nets, inviting loud cheers from the fans. Within the next two minutes, Hugo Boumous made it 3-0 after receiving a neat pass from Brandon Fernandes.
Yet again in the 84th minute Coro was at his best as he neatly guided the ball into the rival nets for his second goal of the match.
NorthEast United pulled a goal back in the 89th minute through Bartholomew Ogbeche.
Substitute Minguel Palanca joined FC Goa’s pre-Christmas party by scoring their fifth goal in the 90th minute.
With this win, FC Goa climbed to third place with 20 points from eleven matches. NorthEast United FC are also on 20 points from 12 matches, but the Gaurs have superior goal difference. Bengaluru FC are way ahead on the top slot with 27 points while Mumbai City FC are on the second spot with 21 points from eleven matches.