It was a long wait, but it has come to an end now. Fuelled mainly by Jorge Ortiz, Aibanbha Dohling and a herd of hungry Gaurs, FC Goa have brought the curtains down on their five-game winless run, with a commanding 5-0 win over Chennaiyin FC.
Ortiz became the first FC Goa player to score a hat-trick this season, as the Gaurs thrashed the Southerners by five goals. With the win, the Men in Orange also extended their unbeaten run at the Tilak Maidan Stadium this season.
Everything went right for FC Goa on Wednesday night, which was a pleasant change when compared to their season so far. Derrick Periera’s boys had the lion’s share of possession and their passing game was on point as usual. However, on this night, unlike most in the ISL this season, the Gaurs sizzled in the final third.
With Chennaiyin opting to sit back and play on the counter, Goa made the most of their intricate interplay and were rewarded with goals at regular intervals.
Goa went off the blocks like a house on fire, upping the ante in the fifth minute, leading to their opening goal via their first attacking move itself. Dohling’s cross from the left fell neatly in front of Makan Winkle Chothe, and the youngster timed his volley perfectly to net his first-ever ISL goal.
Fourteen minutes later, the Gaurs doubled their lead. Another Aiban run down the left followed by a delightful cutback nearly led Chothe to his second of the game. However, the youngster saw his shot get blocked from point blank range. The rebound, though, fell to Ortiz who blasted it in from close range to score his first of the night.
Sensing more opportunities ahead, FC Goa maintained their intensity in attacks and were eventually rewarded, in the 40th minute, as Ortiz scored again. The Spaniard was at the right place at the right time to pick up a deflected ball and slot it home, with little resistance from the Southerners’ defence.
The Gaurs’ fourth goal came during injury-time in the first half, with some help from Chennaiyin’s Narayan Das. The centre-back looked to defend Aibanbha Dohling’s long ball into the box, but ultimately could only direct the ball into his own net past a helpless Debjit Majumder.
Bozidar Bandovic and co began the second half well - almost cutting short Goa’s lead but Mirlan Murzaev wasted his golden chance after producing delightful touch and turn to create it in the first place. The Gaurs did not take long to regain their mojo as Jorge Ortiz completed his hat-trick in the 53rd minute.
The assist was once again from the boots of Aiban, who had a brilliant game all-round.
The remainder of the game was relatively silent. The cherry on top for FC Goa was the clean-sheet, which was only their second of the season. Incidentally, they had registered their first clean-sheet against Chennaiyin FC earlier this season.
While Goa stays at ninth position, they now have 18 points from 16 matches. With the win, the team can also hope even more for a place in the playoffs.
The Gaurs will be back in action on Tuesday, February 15 when they take on their former head coach Juan Ferrando in their clash against ATK Mohun Bagan.
FC Goa Media Release