FC Goa booked their place in the semi-finals of the Hero Super Cup for the second year running after a hard fought 4-3 victory over Jamshedpur FC here at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. The Gaurs took a two-goal lead into halftime after a goal from Edu Bedia was followed by an unfortunate own goal by Pablo Morgado.
The Gaurs went on to build on that lead in the second half as Seriton scored his first goal ever for FC Goa to make it 3-0. The deficit was cut a few minutes later by a goal by Pablo Morgado scoring in the correct net this time around.
Goa, however, remained positive and were rewarded a few minutes later when Coro struck for the second time in as many games from the spot to give Goa 4-1 lead. That, however, was the last flicker of good play from the Goans.
The second for Jamshedpur came soon when another brilliant cross from Carlos Calvo found Sergio Cidoncha in the middle. Cesar Ferrando’s men would get an even bigger spur in the minutes to come when Edu Bedia was sent off for his second yellow. His tackle would also give the Reds a penalty, which Calvo would step up to convert.
The Gaurs, though held on to complete the mission.
Goa, playing in their away colour of all white looked inspired to start and tested Md. Rafique Ali Sardar in the Jamshedpur goal as early as the 3rd minute. The Gaurs would have another good opportunity in the 12th minute of the game when Brandon Fernandes was played in on goal thanks to a faulty touch from Tiri. The winger though couldn’t apply the finishing touch under pressure from Karan Amin.
The ISL runners-up kept the pressure on the Jamshedpur defence and were duly rewarded a few minutes later. Brandon stepped up to take a free kick after he was tripped on the left wing in the 23rd minute of the game and swung in a brilliant ball which was met by Edu Bedia’s glancing header at the near post to give Goa the lead.
Jamshedpur’s only big moment in front of goal came in the 27th minute when young Jerry Mawihmingthanga cut inside and was played in by a brilliant through ball by Pablo Morgado. His shot on the run was, however, brilliantly saved by Mohammad Nawaz who dove to his left to thwart his attempt.
Zaid Krouch came close opening his own account in FC Goa colours when he found space at the edge of the box in the 40th minute of the game after being played in by Coro. The Moroccan’s shot was palmed over by the keeper but he should thank his lucky stars as his attempt was a weak one and came off the crossbar before he finally corralled it into his arms.
Goa would eventually strike again in the first half. It happened in the last of the two added-on minutes as Brandon stepped up to fire in a free-kick in a position similar from which the opener had come. His ball into the near post this time took a flick off the outstretched legs of Pablo Morgado and nestled into the back of the net to double Goa’s lead.
The Gaurs could and should have scored their third in the 49th minute of the game when Brandon did brilliantly to cut in before sliding the ball in for Zaid Krouch on the run. The Moroccan in turn played in an equally impressive ball across the face of the goal which was met by Jackichand Singh at the far post. The Indian international though seemingly became complacent and could only find the side-netting.
Goa’s third finally came in the 64th minute when a brilliant counter started at the back by Mourtada Fall and Lenny Rodrigues saw the ball reach Seriton Fernandes on the charge. Zaid Krouch’s ball to him was perfectly weighted and ‘perfect’ also was the shot from Seriton. The right-back unleashed a low shot with his first touch that rifled through the legs of the keeper.
Jamshedpur would hit back in the 69th minute of the game when Mohammad Nawaz’s pass to Mourtada Fall was intercepted by Carlos Calvo. The Spaniard raced past the defender before finding Pablo Morgado in the middle who made no mistake to tap that in.
Their joy would be short-lived, though, as Goa was awarded a penalty in the 72nd minute as another brilliant build-up play ended in Edu taking a shot that was stopped by the outstretched hands of Pratik Chowdhary.
The referee had no qualms in pointing to the spot. Coro stepped up to the plate a minute late before slotting the chance away to make it 4-1 for Goa.
Jamshedpur would cut down the deficit to 2 goals again 4 minutes later when Carlos Calvo lifted in a fine cross following another superb save by Nawaz. Sergio Cidoncha this time rose highest to meet Calvo’s cross and planted the ball into the back of the net to make the last few minutes interesting.
The plot became a pot-boiler in the 82nd minute when Edu Bedia lost both his cool and touch to gift Pablo Morgado a one-on-one with the keeper. And then followed that up with what was deemed to be a trip on the forward.
The result was a penalty which Calvo duly converted and a second yellow for Bedia - making the last few minutes a real tester for the Gaurs.
The Goan defence would go on to hold the fort for the last few minutes before the referee blew the whistle to signal the Gaur’s progression into the semis.
They now face I-League champions Chennai City FC on 9th April at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The game is set for a 8:30 pm kickoff.