ISL: FC Goa beat Bengaluru to improve playoff chances
Igor Angulo and Redeem Tlang gave FC Goa a two-goal lead in the span of three minutes.
FC Goa bettered their chances of a top-four finish in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 with a 2-1 win against Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. Igor Angulo and Redeem Tlang scored for FC Goa in a three-minute span in the first half, while Suresh Wangjam netted Bengaluru’s only goal of the game.
Bengaluru began the game brightly on the front foot and forced Dheeraj Singh into spilling the ball while the young custodian attempted to collect a long throw into his box. Fortunately for Goa, they managed to clear the danger as Dheeraj had an early reprieve.
FC Goa’s first bit of goal-threat came in the 18th minute when an attempted cross from the right by Alexander Jesuraj ended up testing goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who conceded a corner. The Gaurs then went on to take the lead two minutes later after Erik Paartalu was dispossessed by Glan Martins near Bengaluru’s box and allowed Angulo to run through on goal with the ball before finishing clinically.
The Gaurs though still looked shaky at the back as Dheeraj conceded possession to Sunil Chhetri in his own box but redeemed himself in time by jumping at the Indian striker’s feet to defuse the situation. Goa soon doubled their lead after Bengaluru failed to clear a cross from the right, allowing Redeem to drive into the box and rifle the ball into the corner of the net.
The Blues though weren’t about to go down without a fight as Wangjam halved the deficit for them in the 33rd minute. The Indian midfielder received a Cleiton Silva pass on the left and raced into the box before coming up with an exquisite finish that nestled into the corner at the far post to make it 2-1.
Angulo tried to reestablish FC Goa’s two-goal advantage in the 36th minute with a curling effort from inside the box that was off target. Xisco Hernandez shot from outside the box for Bengaluru soon after but couldn’t keep his attempt from going over the crossbar.
Bengaluru also put in a dangerous freekick into the box just before halftime. However, Chhetri couldn’t capitalize and make the most of the chance as Dheeraj made the save to keep the Gaurs’ 2-1 lead intact heading into the break.
FC Goa had another good opportunity to re-establish their two-goal advantage in the 55th minute when Angulo was through on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat. The Spaniard had the presence of mind to dink the ball over an outrushing Gurpreet but couldn’t quite keep his attempt on target.
Alberto Noguera was the next Goa player to try his luck at goal in the 68th minute when he dragged his shot from outside the box wide of the mark. The Blues, meanwhile, continued to push for an equaliser, however, creating clear-cut chances were proving to be difficult.
Goa had a few chances to put the game to bed in the closing stages. Substitute Ishan Pandita forced Gurpreet into a save and Mohamed Ali did the same with a couple of headers from corners moments later. The Gaurs eventually saw out the closing stages of the game well and kept the ball intelligently to secure the three points and end Bengaluru’s semi-final hopes.
(Special arrangement from ISL Media / Photo FC Goa)
Hero of the Match – Glan Martins