Goals from Brison Fernandes, Noah Sadaoui and Alvaro Vazquez in the second half helped FC Goa register a sensational 3-0 win over Odisha FC at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Saturday.
This was the Gaurs’ fifth win and also their third home win of the ongoing Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season.
Earlier in the day, Goa head coach Carlos Pena rang in three changes to the playing XI that started against Mumbai City FC, as Fares Arnaout, Glan Martins and Noah Sadaoui replaced Marc Valiente, Edu Bedia and Alvaro Vazquez respectively.
Odisha FC showed their attacking intent right from kick-off. They were almost rewarded for it in the sixth minute, as Saul Crespo took a shot on goal. Had it not been for Anwar Ali who blocked it off the line, the Juggernauts would have taken an early lead.
In the 18th minute, Josep Gombau’s boys came close to scoring once again, as Nandhakumar Sekhar’s curled attempt from outside the box on the left flew over goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh before hitting the bar.
FC Goa replied in equal measure just four minutes later, through Iker Guarrotxena who latched on to a loose ball at the middle of the pitch and audaciously pulled the trigger almost immediately. His attempt, however, caused very little danger to the visitors and went well wide off the target.
The Spaniard got himself into the thick of things once again in the 42nd minute, when he escaped his marker and advanced with the ball right into Odisha’s box. He then passed the ball to Noah Sadaoui who tried to lob over goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and a defender, but instead saw his effort sail inches over the crossbar.
Gaurs too hot to handle for the Juggernauts
Following the change of ends, FC Goa started strongly and got close to breaking the deadlock twice within the 50th minute.
In the earlier of the two chances, substitute Alvaro Vazquez played a defence-spitting pass to put Guarrotxena through on goal, but the latter was deemed to be in an offside position. Two minutes later, a cross from the right saw the ball go all fully across an empty goal, with nobody in orange to meet it and tuck it in.
Odisha FC were handed a major setback in the 63rd minute, when the referee sent Nandhakumar Sekhar off back to the dressing room for an early shower after his second yellow card of the night. Being down to 10 men, weakened the Juggernauts further, as they simply failed to cause any threat to the Gaurs during the remainder of the clash.
The goal that FC Goa fans were waiting for finally happened in the 73rd minute, when substitute Brison Fernandes scored with his first touch of the match.
Noah Sadaoui was credited with the assist for his perfectly timed pass from the right that found Fernandes in the opposition box, and the youngster finished with aplomb as he smashed the ball right into the top corner of the net.
In the 78th minute, Pena’s boys doubled the lead. Sadaoui turned goal-scorer this time, with a stunning volley that beat two defenders and Amrinder to register his fifth strike of the season.
Finally, Vazquez rounded off the Gaurs’ victory in the 90th minute, opening his account for the ongoing campaign with a sublime finish.
The win puts FC Goa back in fifth place on the points’ table, with 15 points from nine matches. Their next assignment will be against NorthEast United on December 17, at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.
FC Goa Media Release