Three goals in each half and three points to FC Goa is how the Republic day celebrations in Goa ended at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda.
FC Goa capitalised on Iker Guarrotxena's hat trick and the inability of East Bengal coach Stephen Constantine to think out of the box to register their eighth win in ISL 9 that leaves them with hopes of dreaming of a berth in the knockout round of the competition.
FC Goa, as usual, started with intent and got into the attacking act in the ninth minute when Brandon Fernandes sent in a crisp cross to Edu Bedia who failed to seize the opportunity.
But, they did not need to wait long as a minute later they broke through the East Bengal defence when Devendra Murgaonkar fed Noah Sadaoui through but the ball rolled towards unmarked Iker Guarrotxena who slotted it into an empty goal for his first goal out of three.
FC Goa scored the second as East Bengal were still soaking the shock of the first when Noah crossed from the left and it was met with a diving header by Iker that hit the side bar before deflecting into the goal.
Conceding two goals in ten minutes appeared to have left East Bengal short of ideas and FC Goa capitalised yet again by scoring the third two minutes later, again through Iker who looped it over the East Bengal keeper to register his hat trick.
Down by three girls in less than 25 minutes, Constantine’s boys appeared to be on a boat with wheels instead of pedals unable to dent the FC Goa defence. East Bengal adopted the 4-2-4 system and it left space in the midfield for FC Goa as there was no one in the midfield to recover the ball for East Bengal when they lost the ball up front.
East Bengal got first sight – and the only one in the first session- in the 33rd minute when Jerry Lalrinzuala crossed from the left to Sumeet Passi who could not control his header.
If Iker shone with his goals, Noah though not amongst goals, showed class with the ball and it was his ability to hold and run through the East Bengal last line of defence that needled East Bengal until he was substituted.
FC Goa made matters worse for East Bengal when captain Brandon Fernandes opened his scoring for his team in the 52nd minute through a free kick. His curler reminded all that the best in him is wide awake – though in spasms.
Four goals down and it looked like the visitors were out of town. However, two goals in seven minutes – both through headers – let them leave with a semblance of respect on an evening FC Goa showed who was the master of the den.
East Bengal scored first through the head of Suhair Vadakkepeedika who had an intriguing evening unable to trouble the FC Goa defence that was well marshalled equally by Anwar Ali and Mhd Arnaout. Sanson Pereira, who at times displays nimble feet, was strong today.
The visitors scored their second in the 65th minute but this time Suhair provided the assist to Sarthak Goloui to score.
East Bengal did give glimpses of making a comeback though FC Goa’s counter-attacks were more potent and the latter almost came to consolidating their margin on two occasions towards the dying stages of the game. The final scorecard read 4-2.
FC Goa now occupies the third slot of the table with 26 points from 16 matches and meet table toppers Mumbai City FC on February 11.