FC Goa’s perfect start to the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season under the tutelage of Carlos Pena finally came to a halt on Saturday as the Gaurs went down 0-1 to defending champions Hyderabad FC at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli on Saturday.
It was Javier Siverio who found the back of the net for Hyderabad in the 10th minute, to eventually fetch his team the three points at stake. The Gaurs, in turn, will rue Alvaro Vazquez’s penalty miss in the second half.
Earlier, FC Goa head coach Pena rang in two changes to his starting XI that featured in the win against Chennaiyin FC, as the injured Dheeraj Singh and midfielder Glan Martins were replaced by Arshdeep Singh and Ayush Chhetri respectively. Today’s clash also marked the first ISL starts for both players in Goa colours.
It did not take long since kick-off for the hosts to take the lead. Bartholomew Ogbeche headed the ball off a throw-in into the path of Javier Siverio, who beat his marker and ran into the box before finding the back of the net with a composed finish.
Following the goal, FC Goa intensified their attacks to find the equalizer. They came close in the 22nd minute, when Redeem Tlang found himself in a 1-v-1 situation with Laxmikant Kattimani, but his attempt at dinking the keeper left a lot to be desired.
The first half of the match was also hampered twice due to a floodlight issue at the stadium, which visibly upset the rhythm of both sides.
After the change of ends, the Gaurs doubled their efforts in search of a goal. In the 58th minute, it looked like their hunt finally bore fruit when Iker Guarrtoxena found Noah Sadaoui in the box with a brilliant pass from out wide.
Hyderabad, however, had other plans as they kept the Moroccan international at bay with some astute defending.
FC Goa also looked to be the better side overall following the introduction of Fares Arnaout, Makan Chothe, Brison Fernandes, Princeton Rebello and Alvaro Vazquez in the second half. The Gaurs kept things tight in defence and created several goal-scoring chances, but a lack of bite in the final third haunted them harshly.
Pena’s boys got their best chance of the match in the 83rd minute when Alvaro Vazquez, who came on in the second half, won a penalty following Akash Mishra’s foul on him. He, however, could not beat the goalkeeper from the spot as he skewed his shot wide.
During stoppage time, they came close to scoring once again when Edu Bedia directed a half-volley in on goal from a delightful cross from the right by Chothe. This time, Kattimani rose up to the occasion with a timely save.
This proved to be the last action of the match as the referee blew his final whistle soon after. FC Goa will now return to play their first home match of the season on November 3, when they take on Jamshedpur FC at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
FC Goa Media Release