FC Goa returned to winning ways after thrashing ATK 3-0 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) contest at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.
It was Jackichand Singh who opened the scoring in the first minute of play itself. It was followed by Ferran Corominas, who scored twice in the second half to top the Golden Boot standings.
Sergio Lobera’s men were dominant throughout the game. They kept the visitors in check, and denied them any space on the ball.
The win propelled the Gaurs to the second spot on the ISL table, almost securing a playoff spot. The story will be different for ATK, however, having fallen 6 points adrift of the fourth spot with only 2 games in hand. As a result, a playoff spot may be extremely difficult to achieve.
Goa FC got off to a lightning start, scoring the first goal in the very first minute of the contest. Serotonin Fernandes rushed down the right flank and crossed a delicious ball to Corominas into the box. The striker forwarded it to Jackichand who drilled the ball into the net from the centre of the box.
That set the tone for Goa, who frequently showed an intent to score. ATK, on the other hand, were markedly struggling to keep up with the hosts.
A glorious chance to double the lead came in the 13th minute, when Mandar Rao Dessai fired a low cross into the box from the left flank.
Although Corominas’ delicate touch in the aftermath beat a diving Arindam Bhattacharya, but it also went inches wide of the goal.
The ATK keeper was called into action at the business end of the first-half after and stop Goa from doubling their lead.-- Advertisement --
Seeing their playoff chances diminish, ATK were forced to defend higher up the pitch. However, the move backfired as the Kolkata-based team was caught on a swift counter-attack in the 52nd minute.
Edu Bedia picked out an onrushing Coro’s who in turn found the Mandar near at the edge of the box. The latter’s shot was parried into Coro’s the path by ATK custodian. The Spaniard then slammed home the second goal of the evening.
In a rare enterprise forward, ATK’s Edu Garcia finally tested Goa goalkeeper Naveen Kumar with a stunning shot from the edge of the box. However, the Goan goalkeeper was alert enough to tip the ball over the bar.
Things turned ugly for ATK when Ricky Lallawmawma fouled Coro inside the box summoning the referee to point to the spot in the 81st minute. Coro then scored the penalty, his 13th goal of the season, to help Goa seal all the three points.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 15, 2019