Gaur of the Match: The returning number 4 shines in the north-east

He was returning from injury, having missed FC Goa’s first two games. The mercurial number 4 had played most of the games in pre-season, showing glimpses of what was to follow.

The Gaurs went into the NorthEast, looking to defeat a strong opponent in Robert Jarni’s men. They had started the season with 2 wins in 2, and had their sights set on another full haul.

Hugo Boumous was entrusted with the task of doing the early running, putting the opponent under pressure and making inroads into opposition territory.

The number 4 was terrific from the word ‘go’, combining readily with Coro and Jackichand Singh. ISL’s reigning Golden Boot holder was feeling the positive effects of returning to the number 9 position.

The start was frantic, Boumous setting about tearing gaps in the rival defence, picking balls up near the final third and running at the backline in red.

The signs of danger were there when he picked up the ball and ran at the defence, dribbling past two defenders and unleashing one with his left boot. Only the crossbar separated Hugo from a goal within the first 20 minutes.

When Brandon’s quick thinking offered him a second bite at the cherry, Boumous was too polite to turn the invitation down. He ran at Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, rounded him and slotted it past the keeper.

His positioning and movement caused the other team a serious headache, ending the game with a rating of 8.16, the highest among either of the sides. Apart from his goal, he created 3 chances and had 66 touches of the ball, attempting the second highest passes with 58.

Number 4’s return was certainly a pleasant concern for coach Lobera; another addition to the fearless Goa attack. Experts of forensics needn’t have searched the Sarusajai ground for traces of Boumous; he oozed class all over the pitch in Guwahati.