Margao, Goa: FC Goa got back to winning ways after a slender 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. Manuel Lanzarote opened the scoring at the end of the first half from the penalty spot after Andre Bikey fouled Brandon Fernandes. Steve Coppell’s men came out firing in the second half and former Gaur Trindade Goncalves headed in an equalizer in the 54th minute. FC Goa however, pushed on from there as Brandon found Lanzarote with a peach of a through ball in the 60th minute. The Spaniard ran towards goal, turned the defender and netted superbly to restore his side’s lead. Edu Bedia could have doubled the lead late in the second half after rounding Subrata Pal but hit the ball against the post.
It was the away side that started on the front foot as Ahmed Jahouh lost possession close to goal allowing Trindade Goncalves a shot at goal. Ali Mohamed was on hand to block his shot. The men of steel passed the ball around with conviction as the Gaurs struggled to keep pace with them. Trindade had another opportunity to score in the 11th minute when Jamshedpur FC were awarded a free kick on the right side, just outside the box. The Brazilian stepped up and curled an effort that flew just wide of the near post.
Jahouh was the first player to go into the referee’s book for a poor foul on Trindade. In the 16th minute, Coro set up Mandar from just outside the box but the winger curled his effort wide. Four minutes later, Jamshedpur had their best chance of the half as Izu Azuka received the ball on the edge of the box, turned Bruno Pinheiro and unleashed a ferocious effort at goal which luckily for the Gaurs, flew wide of the far post. As the half wore on, FC Goa began to get back into the game and strung a few passes around. However, they were still unable to unlock the compact Jamshedpur back line. As the half petered to a finish, the game kicked into life. Narayan Das intercepted a clearance in the 38th minute, kept possession, dodged a defender and unleashed a left footed effort that just about flew above the cross bar.
Just as the half looked like it would end all square, things took a dramatic turn. Brandon and Lanzarote played a neat one two in the penalty box and just as the winger could get a shot away; he was tackled by Andre Bikey. The Gaurs appealed for a penalty and the referee immediately pointed to the spot much to the disappoint of Bikey and the rest of the Jamshedpur side. Subrata Pal was cautioned for dissent in the ensuing scuffle. Lanzarote stepped up to take the penalty and hit it to the left of Pal who dived the right side but was unable to save it. The referee though, asked for the penalty to be retaken due to a breach in the penalty box. Once again, the Spaniard stepped up and hit his penalty in the exact same spot. Pal once again dived the right way but couldn’t get a hand on it. Soon after, the referee blew the whistle for half-time.
The men of steel came out all guns firing in the second period as well in a bid to get back in the game. They bombarded the Goan box with a number of crosses and were finally successful in the 54th minute. Jerry picked up the ball on the right wing from a clearance and curled a pin point pass towards the centre of the box where Trindade rose highest and headed it past Kattimani who was rooted to the spot. The Gaurs then began to settle down once more as they looked for a way ahead in the match. Coro received the ball in the centre of the park in the 59th minute and charged at goal before unleashing an effort that went just wide of the post. Hardly a minute later however, the Gaurs were back in front. Brandon took possession of the ball in the centre and threaded a neat through pass through to Lanzarote who ran at goal, turned the defender and curled a shot at the far post to restore the lead. Jamshedpur had the chance to restore parity once again in the 68th minute after substitute Farukh Choudhary found himself with the ball at his feet in a scramble. He failed to test Kattimani however as the chance went begging.
The men of steel pushed hard as Belfort made a nuisance of himself in the box. The Gaurs however, had a chance to extend their lead in the 77th minute as Coro played Mandar through brilliantly. The winger’s shot however flew above the crossbar. The Gaurs were sitting behind, soaking in the pressure and playing on the counter and should have doubled their lead in the 86th minute when Manvir played the ball forward for Edu Bedia who ran at Pal, rounded him but somehow hit the post with the goal at his mercy. Thereafter, the Gaurs defended resolutely through seven minutes of injury time and held out for a narrow win.
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