Jhingan, Victor lead FC Goa to comeback win over East Bengal

posted in Match Report by FC Goa Official on 21st October 2023

posted in Match Report

by FC Goa Official

on 21st October 2023

Jhingan, Victor lead FC Goa to comeback win over East Bengal

A goal in the second half each by Sandesh Jhingan and Victor Rodriguez helped FC Goa beat East Bengal FC 2-1 in their first away match of the ISL 2023-24 season at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on Saturday.

Naorem Mahesh Singh netted for the hosts before the Gaurs produced a solid comeback to take home the three points.

Earlier in the day, FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez named a starting XI with no changes compared to that in their previous clash, a win against Odisha FC. Sandesh Jhingan and Odei Onaindia headlined the defence, Carl McHugh and Raynier Fernandes lining up in the midfield and Carlos Martinez playing up front.

It, however, did not take long for misfortune to strike the visitors, as star winger Noah Sadaoui got ruled out of the clash due to injury. With this happening minutes before kick-off, Victor Rodriguez replaced him in the starting XI.

The early stages of the first half saw both teams playing out an end-to-end game of football, creating chances at will and exchanging possession in phases. It took until the 40th minute for East Bengal to find the breakthrough, thanks to a strike by Naorem Mahesh.

The Indian international received the ball from Nandhakumar Sekar on the right and fired in a curler that nestled in the top right corner of the net.

An inspired second half performance once again by the Gaurs

Despite returning to the dressing room at half-time with a goal’s deficit in the scoreline, FC Goa kept their composure and started the second half well, attacking right from the get-go.

Skipper Brandon Fernandes won a free-kick for the Gaurs in the 51st minute, but had to leave the pitch soon after following an injury due to a foul on him by Borja Herrera.

The introduction of Rowllin Borges and Boris Singh made it easier for the Men-in-Orange to dictate play from the midfield, but a lack of bite in the attacking third continued to hamper their progress. Things then changed for the better in the 74th minute, when Sandesh Jhingan took matters into his own hands.

With a thumping header past goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, the centre-back registered his first-ever ISL goal, in his 132nd appearance in the league. A minute later, Gill was picking the ball out of his own net once again, this time following a sublime finish by Victor Rodriguez.

Having turned the match in their favour within just two minutes, FC Goa settled into the game all the more comfortably and enjoyed keeping the ball. In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Cleiton Silva caused a slight scare with his free-kick, but the Men in Orange kept their calm to hold on to their lead till the final whistle.

Manolo Marquez’ boys are now the only side apart from Mohun Bagan Super Giant to start their ISL season with a hat-trick of victories, and are now in second place on the league table only on goal difference.