FC Goa was held to a goalless draw here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Margao by Jamshedpur FC. The Jamshedpur goal lived a charmed life at times and it took a brilliant performance by Subrata Pal to deny the Gaurs all three points on the night.
The Gaurs were on top of proceedings for the majority of the game but couldn’t take their chances in their first game back from the mid-season break.
The home side were on the front right from the get-go with Edu Bedia looking particularly dangerous in the early stages. The Spaniard, however, couldn’t make the most of two half chances early on.
Whilst his header was on target in the 9th minute, it lacked any kind potency. His shot a minute later coming down the left flank was ill-advised as he looked to beat Pal from a very acute angle instead of pulling it back into the middle.
The Gaurs kept the pedal to the metal for the rest of the half but with not much to show for it as they lacked their usual sharpness in the final third in their first game back. Hugo Boumous, Mandar Rao Dessai and then Brandon Fernandes created spaces for themselves around the edge of the box. Their final effort, though, didn’t match the build-up play.
The second half saw the home side put in more pressure on the Jamshedpur goal.
The away side created two good chances themselves in amongst it all as Mario Arqués got himself into dangerous positions in the FC Goa box. The balls into him, however, lacked the precision of his timely runs.
The introduction of Ahmed Jahouh and Zaid Krouch added more zest to the Goa attack in the final 20-odd minutes of the game. Krouch, in fact, nearly scored with his very first touch of the game as he was brilliantly played in by a first time pass from Coro, but the shot from the Moroccan didn’t have enough to really test Paul.
The last 10 minutes saw the Gaurs go all in for the three points. Subrata Paul though had different ideas and stood tall in between the post to stop three goal bound attempts in the dying moments. When the referee’s whistle brought the game to an end, FC Goa moved to 21 points – one ahead of Jamshedpur FC with a game in hand.
The Gaurs are back in action on 1st February when they take on table-toppers Mumbai City FC – who are on currently on a 9-game unbeaten streak. Their last defeat came at the hands of the Gaurs when they succumbed to a 5-0 defeat.