FC Goa showed true grit as they came back twice from behind to seal all three points here at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao. Brandon Fernandes came off the bench for the Gaurs to score a timely equaliser in the 82nd minute of the game before Edu Bedia’s second of the night in the 89th mintute helped Goa to a third consecutive win at home.
The home side was given an early jolt when Bikramjit Singh latched on to a pass just outside the Goa box and found space to unleash a scorcher to give Delhi the lead in the sixth minute. The home side showed vigour to come back into the game but a vigilant Delhi side kept Goa at bay for most of the first forty-five.
The Dynamos, in fact, carved out the best opportunities of the first half and could have gone into half-time with a bigger lead than the eventual 1-0 score line.
Goa fights back
Delhi continued pressing matters to begin the second half. Goa would, however, soon respond and that too, in devastating fashion. Coro eked out space in the middle and wasted no time in finding Mandar who was making a rampaging run down the left.
A brilliant ball pulled back low into the middle from the Goa left-back was met by the timely run of Edu Bedia, who made no mistake in slotting it home for his third of the season in the 54th minute.
No surrender from Delhi
Delhi, however, refused to take a backseat to the proceedings. Their endeavours were met with success in the 70th minute when the Goa backline was caught napping. A brilliant across-the box run from Nandhakumar Sekar saw him get at the end of a delightful ball from the left.
Whilst the winger’s first touch left much to be desired, the former Chennai City man had the presence of mind to drag it back to Lallianzuala Chhangte who made no mistake in slotting it past Mohammad Nawaz to give Delhi the lead with only 20 minutes to go.
The Gaurs left gaps at the back in the hunt for an equaliser, which allowed the visitors two golden opportunities to seal their first win of the season. It was not meant to be as Daniel Lalhlimpuia and then Chhangte missed two golden opportunities for Delhi’s third.
Class shows through
The momentum of the game took a significant swing following a double switch from Goa around the 80th minute. Sergio Lobera called upon the Indian duo of Brandon Fernandes and Manvir Singh to turn the tables and they duly delivered. Manvir was nearly off the mark from his first touch of the game and gave the home side a real edge in the final third in the dying minutes of the game. Brandon, on the other hand, left a more profound mark.
Mandar, again on the left found Brandon in space in the 82nd minute. The winger turned and with space to work with, unleashed a shot from around 20 yards out which caught Dorronsoro out at the near post to get Goa back on level terms.
FC Goa took on the ante in the final few minutes and was soon rewarded for the same. Edu headed in a brilliantly taken free-kick from Hugo Boumous to write the bottom line in the enthralling contest.
A show of grit
Whilst this performance was far from the free-flowing football that FC Goa has enthralled everyone in India with, this was a true show of grit when it really mattered. This win might have been an ‘ugly’ one for Sergio Lobera’s men. All that mattered in the end was the win and the experience of getting ‘things done’.
With three more points in the bag and confidence back in the ranks, FC Goa move back to the top of the table with the Gaurs’ next challenge set at Kochi on 11th November as they take on the Kerala Blasters.