FC Goa literally watched the ball roll for an hour and with both teams hardly able to entertain, the melody of the house band sounded soothing until Odisha FC was reduced to ten men; Brison Fernandes got a nod in and the last twenty minutes saw FC Goa scoring three goals and ending victorious at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.
Carlos Pena opted to start with three foreign players and his decision seemed to have taken the shine of his boys who floundered through the first session with Glan Martins playing too withdrawn and captain Brandon Fernandes unable to get his boys into a rhythm through his flicks and feints - playing out of sorts.
Odisha FC, on the other hand, enjoyed ball possession and dictated play but that was all, as they ran way short of ideas when inside the FC Goa box. FC Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh’s form may have prompted them to wait so long, to think where and how to shoot, and lose possession.
If the first half was a story of chances not capitalised on by Odisha FC, the second was of FC Goa’s goal-scoring prowess and inability to enhance their lead.
Odisha FC had one of their attempts kiss the FC Goa horizontal; had three of their tries cleared on the goal line by the FC Goa defenders and goalkeeper Dheeraj blocking one, with the home team unable to keep possession and not appearing to be keen on recovering possession.
The story changed in the second half with the introduction of Alvaro Garcia or really the addition of the fourth foreigner and that move by coach Pena saw the rejuvenation of the killer instinct in Brandon and FC Goa smelling the coffee after Odisha FC finishing their breakfast.
Referee Crystal John showed the red card to Nandhakumar Sekar of Odisha FC in the 63rd minute and that brought life to the 9,000-odd FC Goa fans. The match was lit my substitute Brison Fernandes and then it was a question of how many more.
Brison came in place of Glan Martins in the 73rd minute and he set the stadium in raptures when he converted his first touch into the first goal. Seriton Fernandes ran to the centre and fed Noah Sadaoui on the right who crossed the ball back to Brison whose ground volley crashed into the top corner of Odisha FC goal.
The goal pepped up the FC Goa game to no ends and Brandon was once again in the thick of action a minute later when he found Alvaro Vasquez whose chip over Arminder landed on the horizontal and the ball landed at the feet of Noah who crashed the ball in with ease.
The second goal saw FC Goa foreign players miss sitters with Alvaro, Noah and Iker missing sitters but it really didn’t matter much as the damage was done and the FC Goa attacks turned from ripples to waves and in one such occasion Iker Vallejo crossed the ball to Alvaro Garcia who had no difficulty in foxing Amrinder again for his team’s third goal.
FC Goa had only one opportunity in the first half and it was the best of the evening but first Iker could not beat Amrinder Singh - body to body -and Noah ballooned the rebound instead of slotting into an empty goal.
FC Goa has climbed to the fifth spot after this win and face North East United- who are yet to register a point- on December 17 at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda.