FC Goa looked comfortable in a 2-0 victory over Mohun Bagan AC in their second pre-season game in Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Gaurs got on to the score sheet before the Kolkata club could even touch the ball through Manuel Lanzarote’s lobbed goal. A second goal in the first half courtesy of Ferran ‘Coro’ Corominas was enough to seal victory.
The Gaurs got off to the perfect start in their second pre-season friendly in Goa as they found themselves a goal to the good before Mohun Bagan AC even managed to touch the ball. Edu bedia controlled the ball in midfield and put in a sublime aerial through ball for Lanzarote who got on to the end of it and lobbed the onrushing Shilton Paul for the lead. The Gaurs were in control of the game from the first whistle and continued to create a number of chances. Bruno Pinheiro almost found Ferran Corominas with another long ball but the striker was unable to get on to the end of it. Coro however, had the chance to double the lead moments later after he was played in by Edu Bedia but his shot flew high above the crossbar. The visitors were struggling to get a hold of the game as the Gaurs controlled the ball and kept the pressure on the opposition defence.
In the 21st minute, Mandar Rao Dessai and Coro combined to double the Gaurs’ lead. A good counter attacking move from the home side saw Edu feed the ball to Mandar on the left. The makeshift left back instinctively ran into the box and squared the ball for Coro who tapped home. Sony Norde was presented with a chance to pull a goal back for his side a couple of minutes later but his shot from just outside the box was straight at skipper Laxmikant Kattimani who made the stop easily. Youngster Liston Colaco who started the game for the Gaurs then had a couple of chances to triple the lead but was unable to convert. Seriton Fernandes intercepted the ball well and slipped in a superb through ball for the pacy youngster who ran on to the ball but was unable to lob the keeper who came off his line.
It was Lanzarote’s turn to test the keeper once more after he received the ball outside the box and thundered a superb shot at Shilton who managed to parry. Not long after, the Gaurs received a free-kick just outside the box. Lanzarote stepped up once more to curl an effort towards the far post. He had the keeper beaten but the ball crept inches wide of the post. FC Goa should have had the third goal right at the end of the half when Coro slipped a ball through for Brandon whose attempted lob went just wide of the far post.
It was more of the same in the second half. The Gaurs looked to keep hold of the ball and pass it around while attempting to unlock the Mohun Bagan defence. Sergio Lobera brought on Ali Mohammad and Sergio Juste for Chinglensana Singh and Bruno Pinheiro. Like in the first half, FC Goa got off to a good start with Lanzarote sending Coro through with a good pass. The striker however, attempted to shoot from distance and skied his effort. As the half progressed, Bagan began to apply pressure while FC Goa found it increasingly hard to keep possession for long periods like they did in the previous half.
Brandon was presented with an opportunity to shoot after Lanzarote set him up outside the box but the winger shot straight at the keeper. It was Mandar’s turn to test the keeper shortly afterwards after he found himself with some space in the box but once again his shot was saved. Norde looked a lot livelier in the second half and jinked past a few defenders in the box and shot at Kattimani’s goal. The keeper however was up for the task and blocked the shot. Liston got yet another chance to increase the lead after Lanzarote fizzed a superb ball across the box. The youngster ran through unmarked and somehow shot the ball wide under no pressure.
Sergio made a host of changes thereafter to test out his bench strength as his team got back into a passing rhythm. Bagan had the opportunity to sneak a goal back after a good cross found an unmarked striker in the box but his first time shot flew over the crossbar. The Gaurs continued to push forward in an attempt to score a third but were unable to do so before the referee called time on the contest.
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