FC Goa milks home fan support for 3 points
The gaur in FC Goa took a whip in the sixth minute. It stuttered till the horizontal was rattled in the 35th minute by Carl Mchugh and once they equalised 20 minutes later, three points seemed to have been chiselled as they finished with an odd goal from five win against visitors Odisha FC at the Nehru stadium, Fatorda on Saturday.
FC Goa started on the backfoot as they conceded a corner when the game was four minutes old and of the resultant kick, Mourtada Fall was given all the space to boot the opener and leave the home fans numbed.
Up by a goal, Odisha FC preferred to attack with defence as their main pivot and the move gave space to Carl Mchugh to rattle the Odisha horizontal in the 35th minute. The rattle, helped FC Goa change the tone of their game, though they never came close to scoring in the first session.
The closest the winners came to worrying the Odisha defence was around the 40th minute when Odisha goalkeeper Amrinder Singh let the ball bounce from his hands to end into an ensuing unproductive goal-mouth melee.
Krishna, the Odisha striker was kept on a leash by the FC Goa defence until he was substituted by Diego Mauricio but the latter too was given no room to display his goal-scoring prowess.
FC Goa restored parity through a penalty won around the 52nd minute and Noah Sadaoui, who is yet to breathe life into his game, scored first towards Amrinder’s right and the retake to his left to bring both teams on level terms.
The equaliser saw a change of tempo as well as atmosphere in the stadium with both the players and FC Goa fans beginning to enjoy the evening and in one such moment, Odisha FC’s Lenny Rodrigues – who played as a deep withdrawn midfielder – sent in a back pass that was well anticipated by Noah for his team’s second goal of the evening.
Odisha FC coach made a string of changes thereafter, bringing in Mauricio and Japanese CY Goddard but the team had to rely on defender Mourtada Fall for the equaliser – again a shot from a corner.
FC Goa depended a lot on Noah whilst Odisha fell on Mourtada who, with his intelligent anticipation, did not allow his citadel to crumble against the FC Goa assaults that looked dangerous but ended with caution.
As time rolled towards the end of play and with eight minutes of extra time shown, a goal either way looked imminent until FC Goa defender Jay Gupta let in the shot of the evening from top of the box to allow his team to finish their second home match with three points.
Brandon Fernandes, Lenny Rodrigues and Rowllin Borges were the three players from Goa seen playing for their Goan fans and from the three, substitute Rowllin appeared to be a trifle better than the other two – in terms of attack – with both Brandon and Lenny being ultra cautious.