FC Goa gave their fans an early Christmas gift on Friday with a convincing 5-1 win over NorthEast United here at the Fatorda Stadium. Having gone into the dressing rooms at halftime scoreless, the game, in the second half changed gears as the Gaurs rampaged their way to all three points.
Coro came back to his scoring ways, putting two past the hapless Pawan Kumar. Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous and Miguel Palanca were also on the mark for FC Goa whilst Bartholomew Ogbeche scored the consolation for NorthEast.
An action packed first half saw the home side produce chances a plenty. The Gaurs, however, failed to romp one home. The pressure from the Men in Orange was telling and three yellow cards for the visitors was a reflection of the pressure Goa put them under.
The home side were on the front foot from the very first minutes as Jackichand Singh left everyone in his wake with a blistering run down the right. The Manipuri though could only find the side netting.
The first forty-five saw the home side use the full width of the field. Crosses from Hugo on the left and Jacki on the right in the 15th and 28th minute respectively saw the NorthEast defence scurrying, but the balls were not accurate enough for the men in the middle to get the vital touch.
Goa’s most decisive move came in the 23rd minute. Coro’s interplay saw Jacki find room on the right. The Indian international returned the favour with a cutback but that had a little too much as Coro could only steer it towards Hugo Boumous at the far post. The Frenchman put the ball in but was deemed offside.
The game burst into life in the second half. Coro started off the fireworks when he managed to get on the end of a Jackichand cross from the right and apply an acrobatic finish after Hugo Boumous had played the winger in.
Edu doubled the lead 10 minutes later. The Spaniard did brilliantly to manoeuvre past a rash challenge from Gurwinder Singh before calmly chipping Pawan Kumar who had come off his line to narrow the angle down.
And two minutes later it was game over.
The last minute of the 12-minute blitzkrieg saw Edu play Brandon down the right after he had switched flanks with Jacki. The Goan lad saw Boumous making a run down the middle and duly fed him a delicious ball for him to apply another impeccable finish whilst sliding his way towards goal.
Goa weren’t done yet and in the 84th minute, Coro scored his second to go level with Iain Hume as the highest ever goal scorer in ISL history. The Spaniard dispossessed Rowllin Borges in midfield and set Boumous running. The Frenchman took on the last defender before cutting back for Coro who had the easy job of putting the ball past the keeper.
Bartholomew Ogbeche scored the consolation for the Highlanders in the 90th minute. He smashed home a rebound after Mohammad Nawaz had initially made a save to deny the Nigerian a goal from his header off a corner.
Their little moment of joy was short-lived though as Miguel Palanca, who came in as a late substitute, laid the icing on the cake. The Spaniard showed real pace to mow down the left and beat all comers before cutting back in and smashing it past the keeper at the near post to give the Gaurs a commanding 5-1 win.
The win sees FC Goa move up to third place, having garnered 20 points from their 11 games as the Gaurs head in for the winter break.