FC Goa got their hands on their first ever piece of silverware on Saturday as they waltzed their way to the Hero Super Cup trophy here at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The Gaurs overcame a resilient Chennaiyin FC side 2-1 in the final to seal the prize.
Brandon Fernandes’ strike in the 64th minute of the game saw FC Goa to the crown after Ferran Corominas was again on target for the Gaurs to give them the lead in the 51st minute.
The Gaurs dictated the pace of the game early on but it was Chennaiyin who had the first big moment in the game in the 23rd minute when Anirudh Thapa was able to break down the left. The Indian international was able to find his teammate Rafael Augusto in the middle but his goalbound effort was effectively blocked by Mourtada Fall.
The Machans maintained a sustained spell of pressure at the point of time and it took two brilliant saves from Mohammad Nawaz to prevent the Gaurs from falling behind early on in the game.
The Gaurs themselves could have taken the lead late in the first half when Edu Bedia thumped in a piledriver from about 30 yards out after being teed up by Coro. The Spaniard’s swerving attempt though was met by the firm hands of Karanjit Singh in the Chennaiyin goal.
Goa came out with a much more composed approach in the second half and nearly took the lead in the 50th minute of the game. Hugo Boumous rode through challenges and swivelled past three Chennaiyin defenders before finding Coro to his right. The Spaniard played a brilliant give and go with Boumous before the Frenchman teed off Edu via a brilliant back heel. Edu’s attempt had the keeper beaten but thudded off the crossbar.
The Gaurs, however, wouldn’t have to wait much longer for the breakthrough. A minute later, Coro broke free in the middle before feeding Boumous on the right. The Frenchman’s low shot directed to the far post was parried by Karanjit but Coro was on hand to bundle it over to give Goa the lead.
To Chennaiyin’s credit, they didn’t let that goal bog them down and hit back immediately. The Machans struck as the game clock hit 53 minutes as Rafael Augusto was finally able to find the back of the net from the edge of the box.
That moment, however, didn’t deter the Gaurs - who came rampaging back and it was again Coro at the thick of it all. The Spaniard’s inch-perfect through-ball in the 64th minute played in Brandon Fernandes who made no mistake in slotting it past the on-rushing Karanjit Singh to give Goa the lead for the second time within 14 minutes.
The Gaurs remained on the offensive for the rest of the game and better composure in the final third could and should have brought Goa their third of the game.
The final scare for Goa came in the 5th minute of added-on time when Thoi Singh was able to get into the box on the right before cutting back for Eli Sabia. The Brazilian’s shot had venom but came back after crashing off the crossbar.
Goa held on for the final moments. And as the referee’s whistle pointed to the end of the game, it brought to an end - a five year dream of winning a trophy for the people of Goa.