FC Goa picked up their first victory in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 3-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. Goals from Igor Angulo in the first and second half as well as a strike from Jorge Mendoza gave the Gaurs maximum points. Vicente Gomez scored a consolation goal for Kerala and centre-back Costa Nhamoinesu was given his marching orders in second-half injury time.
Goa almost stunned Kerala in the 10th minute after Mendoza won the ball in the Blasters’ half and unleashed a powerful shot from distance that rattled the woodwork. They struck the frame of the goal again seven minutes later when a back pass by Rohit Kumar went to Angulo, who got his shot away only to strike the post.
Kerala’s first shot at goal came in the 25th minute when Facundo Pereyra’s attempt from the edge of the penalty box sailed over the crossbar. Goa went on to take the lead on the half hour mark after a delightful ball forward by Saviour Gama was lobbed over an outrushing goalkeeper by Angulo to give the Gaurs a 1-0 lead.
Lenny Rodrigues tested Kerala’s goalkeeper Albino Gomes with a shot from distance in the 41st minute. However, his effort was comfortably saved as Kerala went up the other end immediately to register a shot on target. Vicente was the Kerala player that forced Mohammad Nawaz into making a save after the Spaniard had directed a Rahul KP cross from the right goalwards. Goa did have the ball in the net again before halftime, but it was disallowed for offside as the Gaurs went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
Mendoza then forced Albino to tip the ball over his crossbar after a quick counterattack just two minutes into the second period. The Spaniard, though, wouldn’t be denied his goal in the 52nd minute when Brandon Fernandes feigned to shot before sliding an exquisite pass to Mendoza, who tucked the ball across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner to double Goa’s lead.
Goa continued to attack after going 2-0 ahead and had several chances to extend their lead. However, it was Kerala that came closest to scoring the next goal of the match in the 67th minute when a shot by Vicente beat the goalkeeper but ended up hitting the crossbar.
The Gaurs, though, had more possession and controlled the tempo of the game to deprive the Blasters of the opportunity to create goal-scoring chances. Kerala did try their best to find a way back into the contest and nearly set up a tense finish by scoring one in final minute of normal time.
Vicente scored the goal after a well-executed header off a Nishu Kumar cross from the right to halve the deficit. However, Kerala were robbed of their momentum moments later with the sending off of Nhamoinesu for a second yellow card. Things went from bad to worse for Kerala in stoppage time when a lapse at the back by Albino resulted in Angulo robbing the Indian custodian of the ball and slotting into an empty net to secure maximum points for his side.
ISL Media Release