An 82nd minute winner from Jorge Ortiz helped FC Goa get back to winning ways as they eked out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC tonight in Bambolim, Goa. The win, FC Goa’s first in 5 games, was also the first under Derrick Pereira as they recorded their first clean sheet of the season.
The game looked to be headed towards a stalemate despite the Gaurs peppering the Chennaiyin goal. However, Ortiz’s fourth of the season - a thunderbolt from distance late on - helped Gaurs latch on to all three points.
Pereira, in hunt for his first win as FC Goa head coach was happy to welcome back Alberto Noguera in the line-up. The former Indian international also gave a Hero ISL debut for Anwar Ali while Naveen Kumar started his first game this season between the posts.
The first half was characterised by long spells of possession by FC Goa. The Gaurs, though, failed to capitalise on the same.
It took only 18 minutes for Derrick Pereira’s men to fashion their first chance of the game when Noguera’s well-weighted pass helped Jorge Ortiz break beyond the Chennaiyin backline. The forward’s shot on goal from an acute angle, though was smothered by the onrushing Debjit Mazumder in the Chennai goal.
The Chennaiyin keeper would be under the spotlight time and again in the first half as Glan Martins and later Ortiz yet again put him to task. However, Mazumder, to his credit, stood up to the demands.
FC Goa kept the pressure up in the second half and the pressure nearly bore fruit within the first five minutes as Ortiz went down in the penalty box under an apparent tug on his shirt. His appeals, though, fell on deaf ears.
A few minutes later Debjit found himself stranded as Edu Bedia, in a near mirror-reflection of his goal from the last game scored an Olympico. This time, though, his shot crashed off the far post.
The Gaurs would have to wait till the 82nd minute of the game for the breakthrough. Ortiz combined well with substitute Airam Cabrera before setting off on another marauding run before pulling the trigger from 30 odd yards out that swerved and dipped before nestling into the back of the net.
The win sees FC Goa go up to 12 points from their first 10 games and up to 8th on the table. Chennaiyin, remain in 6th on the table but have lost 4 of their last 6 games.
FC Goa will be back in action on January 14 when they take on NorthEast United. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 pm kickoff.
FC Goa Media Release