FC Goa started their campaign in the inaugural edition of the Reliance Foundation Development League with a convincing 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC. In a game that FC Goa dominated for large portions of the game, a 72nd minute strike from Jovial Dias proved good enough to secure all three points for Deggie Cardozo’s boys.
The young Gaurs looked to be in control of the game from the get go. And the boys in Orange nearly opened the scoring within 4 minutes of the start when Mevan Dias dribbled past his marker on the right flank before putting in a low cross. The ball seemed to be set on a platter for HP Lalremruata to dispatch but for a late tackle that took the ball away.
A minute later Lesly Rebello did indeed put the ball into the back of the net but was flagged offside.
Chennaiyin, meanwhile resorted to play on the break and saw their best chance of the first half arrive in the 14th minute when Syed Pasha did well to swivel his way into a dangerous position. His attempt on goal, though, missed the far post by a whisker from an acute angle.
FC Goa created shooting opportunities of their own in the following minutes but failed to test Samik Mitra in the Chennaiyin goal with their attempts.
Chennaiyin began the second half with a new found spirit and nearly took the lead in the 47th minute. Joseph Lalvenhima looked set to score when he was played in behind the FC Goa backline with a well-weighted through ball. The forward, one-on-one with the keeper was thwarted by Hrithik Tiwari in the FC Goa goal with the keeper rushing off the line in timely fashion to pull off the crucial save for his side.
The Marina Machans looked destined to score the opener a few minutes later when a cut back from the right found Sufiyan Shaikh in the box. With the goal at his mercy, the forward saw his shot blocked by his own teammate, who was subsequently flagged offside.
FC Goa roared back into the game and made Chennaiyin pay for their lack of precision in the final third.
The 72nd minute of the game saw substitute Vasim Inamdar marauding down the left before putting in another brilliant low cross. This time around Jovial Dias was on hand to tuck the cross away, scoring the only goal of the game.
The Gaurs dictated the tempo of the game for much of the remaining minutes, paving their way to all three points from the opener.
FC Goa will be back in action in the RF Development League on April 19 against Bengaluru FC. The game is scheduled to kick off at 8 am at the Nagoa Ground in Goa.
FC Goa Media Release