Coro brace ensures FC Goa top table at Christmas

posted in Press by FC Goa Official on 23rd December 2019

posted in Press

by FC Goa Official

on 23rd December 2019

Coro brace ensures FC Goa top table at Christmas

FC Goa ensured that they top the Hero Indian Super League table at Christmas with a dominating 3-0 victory over Odisha FC. Ferran Corominas scored the opening goal of the game in the 19th minute, putting away Hugo Boumous’ timely cut-back. Brandon Fernandes’ doubled the lead late in the game when his shot from distance was parried by Arshdeep Singh into his own net before Coro stepped up to convert a late penalty to complete the victory. 

The Gaurs started on the front foot and could have taken an early lead after Mandar Rao Dessai charged past the defence and put in a good low cross that just evaded Coro at the near post in the second minute. Odisha had a great chance to net the opening goal in the 17th minute when Nandhakumar put in an inch-perfect cross from the left towards Aridane but the Spanish striker couldn’t direct his header on target. 

Their failure to score proved vital as the Gaurs marched up the other end and opened the scoring in emphatic fashion in the 19th minute. Jackichand Singh put in a superb through ball towards Hugo Boumous who chased and cut the ball back to the centre of the box for the onrushing Coro – who slotted it home with his first touch.

The goal didn’t seem to slow the Gaurs down as they continued to push forward in search of their second. Len Doungel who came on as a substitute for Jackichand following an ankle injury to the winger, and Lenny Rodrigues were presented with chances to score but neither of them was able to hit the back of the net. 

Odisha managed to create another great chance which would have brought them level in the 29th minute when Aridane found Martin Guedes with an intricate through ball after the midfielder had made a superb run. Guedes’ touch, however, took him away from goal and his subsequent shot flew wide of the far post. The visitors were struggling to keep up with the Gaurs’ possession-play, but with time ticking on, neither side was able to trouble the scorers before the break.

The visitors made two changes at the start of the second period, as the coach brought on Xisco Hernandez and Gaurav Bora for Dia Diagne and Daniel Lahlimpuia respectively. They were forced into their third change not long after with Romeo Fernandes coming on for the injured Jerry. 

The Gaurs, however, continued to play as they did in the first half, keeping the ball for long periods and dominating play. Coro had the first chance of the half but was unable to steer home Boumous’ ball across the box. Brandon also had a chance from the edge of the box but hit it straight at the keeper.

Odisha’s best chance of the game fell to Xisco in the 58th minute when he headed a Narayan Das cross towards the near post but Mohammad Nawaz reacted well to parry the ball to safety. Goa had the best chance to double their lead in the 62nd minute when a deft touch from Coro set Doungel free down the right. The winger ran into the box but hit his shot directly at the keeper.

Sergio Lobera brought on Edu Bedia for Boumous mid-way through the half and with fatigue setting in, the intensity on the pitch began to drop. The visitors began to look a lot more threatening as they looked for a way back into the contest. However, it was the home side who really should have scored in the 74th minute. 

Coro played Edu through with a deft touch forward and the midfielder ran on to the ball and attempted to poke it past the keeper who managed to get a hand on it.

The game began to open up considerably as Odisha went up the other end and should have scored. Narayan Das whipped in a delicious cross from the left which met the head of a leaping Aridane who powered his header directly at Nawaz who collected calmly. 

With time ticking on, both sides were invested in scoring, one to pull away and the other to get back into the game. But it was the home side who managed to achieve their task through Brandon in the 85th minute. Edu Bedia and Coro played the ball intricately between themselves before the latter laid it for Brandon who shot straight at the keeper who should have done better but managed only to help the ball hit the back of the net.

Not long later, the Gaurs tripled their lead from the penalty spot. Arshdeep Singh was unable to keep hold of the ball from a corner and Coro sneaked in and attempted to tap it in but was impeded by Aridane. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and the Spaniard stepped up and side-footed the ball past the diving keeper to score his brace. 

The Gaurs continued to dominate even as the game trickled to a close and Coro had the chance to complete his hat-trick with a low shot that the keeper just managed to keep out before the referee blew for full time.