FC Goa’s Spanish contingent shine in 3-1 win over Odisha FC
FC Goa broke their run of draws with a comfortable 3-1 win over Odisha FC in Match 97 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday. The Gaurs were in control for the majority of the first half after taking a two-goal lead, although Diego Mauricio pulled one back for Odisha in the 30th minute. Ivan Gonzalez scored FC Goa’s third goal in the second 45 minutes to seal the win.
Alberto Noguera scored the opening goal in the 18th minute before Jorge Ortiz added a second in the 26th minute. Diego Mauricio pulled one back for Odisha in the 30th minute. Ivan Gonzalez became FC Goa’s third Spanish goal-scorer on the night in the 75th minute.
FC Goa were in the ascendancy from the get-go. Four minutes into the game, a pass from Ortiz was met by Noguera, who tested the goalkeeper from close range but Arshdeep Singh did well to deny the Spanish midfielder.
The first goal of the game came in the 18th minute after Gonzalez floated a cross into the penalty box from the left. It was Noguera again who was at the end of the ball, heading it into the net to open the scoring.
Ortiz doubled FC Goa’s lead on the counter-attack from an Odisha FC corner in the 26th minute. Goa defender James Donachie headed the ball away from his defensive third and a scramble for the ball was eventually won by Saviour Gama. The young defender brilliantly fed the ball into Ortiz’s feet as the winger sprinted towards goal and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper into the net.
In a bid to get themselves back into the game, Odisha FC pushed their players forward and Daniel Lalhlimpuia came close in the 28th minute but his shot was well-saved by Dheeraj Singh. The goal for them however did come two minutes later after a powerful cross from Rakesh Pradhan was carried into the net by Mauricio, scoring his 10th goal of the seasaon in the process.
Daniel was at the end of another chance after being played in by Cole Alexander but the FC Goa custodian made an important save to ensure that his side went into the break with their slender lead.
Chances were few and far between for the Gaurs, with Odisha FC upping the ante in the second half. A throw into the FC Goa box was cleared but fell to Bradden Inman in the 58th minute. His volleyed shot from just outside the box, however, went over the goal. A minute later, Mauricio cut in from the left and attempted a shot which was inches off the post.
Gonzalez then scored FC Goa’s third goal of the game in the 75th minute to put it beyond Odisha FC. The Spanish defender headed Ortiz’s corner from the left towards goal but Arshdeep did well to save the effort. Gaurav Bora was unable to clear his lines and the ball fell into the path of Gonzalez, who comfortably poked the ball into the net.
In the 82nd minute, Gonzalez almost scored a brace after heading the ball from a corner towards goal but his effort hit the crossbar. Goa held onto their lead and extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches, moving into the top four with two games to go as well.
The Spanish defender was FC Goa’s best player against Odisha FC. He first assisted Noguera for the opening goal and then scored their third goal to take the game completely away from the opposition. Gonzalez had two of his three shots on target and in defence, he made two blocks and a clearance for the Gaurs.