Goa: Igor Angulo scored his sixth goal of the season and propelled FC Goa to their second win, this time getting the better of Odisha FC 1-0. The three points helped Goa climb to 4th place on the ISL table with 8 points from their 5 games.
Goa dominated the game throughout and ended up with 679 passes with a success rate of 80 per cent. The Gaurs had 20 shots on target although an inspired performance by Arshdeep Singh in the Odisha goal, restricted the scoreline, else it could have been much harsher for the ‘home’ team.
Juan Ferrando rang in the changes again, this time he rested captain Edu Bedia. Alberto Noguera replaced his fellow Spaniard in midfield while Lenny Rodrigues took on the captain’s armband.
The Gaurs were the quickest off the blocks, dominated possession and probed away at the Odisha backline. Jorge Ortiz looked particularly threatening in the opening minutes as the Spaniard ran his show on Goa’s left flank.
After some dominant display, the Gaurs finally tested the keeper in the 28th minute, as Arshdeep was sent scrambling to his left to thwart the ‘away side’. After some delightful play on the right, Brandon found a space to get a cross in. The Goa no. 10’s ball into the box took a wicked deflection and nearly gave the Gaurs a lead in the opening 30 minutes.
The positivity finally paid off for FC Goa in the second minute of added-on time. Good pressure in the opposing half saw the Gaurs reclaim the ball in an advanced position. Noguera found a rampaging Romario on the left. The winger did well to sell a shoulder fake before crossing it low into the middle where Igor Angulo was awaiting.
The Spaniard outfoxed Jonathan Pratt with a deft touch and worked out space just before he unleashed a low shot across the goal to put Goa into the lead. The ‘home’ side came out the brighter of the two after the game restarted. A ball from the left found Jerry in the box. The winger got the better of Saviour Gama but was unable to find the target.
The Gaurs looked to reply immediately and created three good chances in the following five minutes to again regain the impetus in proceedings. Goa kept the pressure up and in the 64th minute Arshdeep cane big for Odisha to deny a second. A delightful ball from Gama found Angulo in the box again, the forward’s shot was fortunately straight at the keeper who showed good reflexes to keep the score 1-0.
The Odisha keeper was again back in action a few seconds later, this time the denied Jorge Ortiz as the Spaniard looked to curl one in with his left.
Goa again came close to get their second in the 74th minute. Princeton Rebello, who came on in the second half in place of Lenny Rodrigues curled a beautiful ball into the path of Angulo with the outside of the boot. The Spaniard got the better of Gaurav Boranonpace but failed was unable to find the target from an acute angle.
Ortiz was again on target in the 83rd minute. The Spaniard skipped away from a challenge before he unleashed a low shot from 30 odd yards out. Arshdeep was again equal to the task, he dived low to his right to save his team yet again.
The 89th minute gave Goa arguably the best chance to double their lead. Princeton was again on the mark with his pass, this time he found Len Doungel. The man from Manipur nodded the ball into the path of an onrushing Ortiz. The Spaniard’s attempt on his first touch though lacked conviction.
Doungel was the first to react to the rebound but all of his three successive attempts were blocked. The Hero Of The Match, Ortiz tested Arshdeep in the dying minutes as the custodian yet again stood up to the task.
The final whistle brought an end to a game that the Gaurs might have won just 1-0, but dominated right from the start and looked to be in control throughout. The Gaurs will be back in action on Wednesday (16 December) when they take on ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium. That game is slated for a 7:30 pm kickoff.