FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos FC both fought for a stalemate in what was a closely contested Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.
Although Goa applied significant pressure throughout the game, Delhi had a plan to execute. The hosts seldom put a foot wrong and did not allow a single goal. While the team will be content with a well-earned point, Sergio Lobera’s men will rue at two lost points.
And why not? The visitors had a golden chance to climb up to the second position over Mumbai City FC with a superior goal difference. Nonetheless, they remain in the third position with 25 points from 14 matches.
Delhi, on the other hand, are firmly in the eighth place with 11 points from 14 games.
The game started on a good note with both sides searching for an early breakthrough. Chances were aplenty at both ends.
First of those came through a corner-kick by Goa in the fourth minute. It was Mourtada Fall who crept in behind Gianni Zuiverloon and out-jumped the centre-back to have a go at the goal. However, his headed effort went wide.
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Then came a chance from the hosts two minutes later. A ball in the Goan back-line was enough to cause confusion between Fall and keeper Naveen Kumar. Daniel Lalhlimpuia took advantage of the mistake with a shot. However, the effort that lacked power was saved and the visitors breathed a sigh of relief.
That was a rare enterprise from Delhi, as Goa soon started to dominate the proceedings.
Ferran Corominas and Hugo Boumous played an impressive 1-2-1 at the edge of the box. The former passed the ball to the latter with an intelligent through-ball. However, Boumous’s shot was too far for Dynamos’ concerns.
In the 36th minute, a similar passing game on the edge of the box resulted in another chance for Goa. This time, it was Corominas who laid the ball in Jackichand Singh path to shoot. However, the winger’s shot took a minor deflection and this went off target. By the end of the first half, Goa had 57 percent of the possession, perfectly signifying their dominance.
Goa continued to extend their opponents in the second with intelligent and swift movements. Brandon Fernandes bisected the defence with a nice through-ball aimed at Edu Bedia. However, before the forward could latch on to it, Delhi custodian Francisco Dorronsoro quickly cleared the danger.
Dorronsoro was called into action again after the hour-mark which required him to make a couple of brilliant saves. Goan player Edu almost scored with a long-distance shot that required swift reflexes from the Spanish keeper.
Towards the business end of the game, Delhi created some dangerous moments in Goan half. However, they failed to convert those chances and rarely tested Kumar in goal.
Delhi will next face NorthEast united while Goa welcomes ATK.