FC Goa hosted Kerala Blasters FC in the Hero Indian Super League 2017-18 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda today (9/12/2017).
Coro seals the game with a hat-trick in the second after Kerala equalized at break. Both the teams had scored two goals each in the first half with Mark opening the scoreline for the visitors in the 6th minute.
Kerala Blasters FC had to loose Berbatov in the opening minutes of the game because of his hamstring injury. Ongnam came in to fill Berbatov’s spot. FC Goa played good game with moving the ball well. In the process, Jackiechand, of Kerala, got the ball after a miss pass from Goa. His keep feet moved the ball on the right wing and he managed to cross the ball in for Mark who was on the run. Mark comfortably brought down the ball inside Goa’s box and shot on target. Kuttimani couldn’t stop the ball from going into the goal. Kerala took an early lead in the game, but Goa did not sit back. Their well composed game gave them an opportunity to score the equalizer in the 8th minute. A nice cross from Narayan Das from left wing found Manuel on the far post who just side footed the ball into the goal.
Goa seemed very comfortable on the ball with passing the ball well and not allowing Kerala to grab the ball. Game seemed to settle down with no actions happening, except for Goa being comfortable with passes and Kerala pressurizing. 17 minutes on the clock and Manuel struck again, giving his side a one goal lead. This time it was Kerala’s goalkeeper, Paul’s mistake. His miss pass gave Brandon to charge on with a sliding tackle which turned into a pass to Manuel. Manuel managed to beat two defenders before he could place the ball into the left corner of the goal.
FC Goa were now on the lead and looked really composed with their passes. Kerala Blasters FC struggled to get to keep the with themselves. Jackiechand made fine runs down the right wing with good pace and getting dangerous crosses. All his efforts were cut off by the Goans. Just as it seemed the half would end in a 2-1 score, Kerala equalized in the 31th minute. A miss pass by Goa gave Miland Singh to grab the ball and play a little one two with Jackie on the right flank. A good through ball to Jackie gave him chance to place the ball swiftly in the left bottom corner of the Goa goal, putting it through Kuttimani’s legs.
Goa still were dominating on ball possession. In the 35th minute, Goa created a chance with great passing on the edge of the box. But couldn’t convert the chance into a goal as Paul and his defense line were successful in denying the Goans.
At half time, score was, FC Goa 2-2 Kerala Blasters FC.
In the second half, it was all Coro’s show. Coro scored his first of the evening after two minutes into the half. A delightful through ball by Ahmed from the midfield gave Coro a chance to leave the defenders behind and place the ball into the nets. Goa fans were already celebrating the victory.
Coro did not take long time to strike his second of the evening. In the 50th minute, a similar passing game came into picture, as the previous goal, but this time it was Fernandes with the assist. Coro again let his defenders back and chipped the ball over Paul giving him no chance to stop it. FC Goa was absolutely on top of the game with maximum ball possession. Kerala really struggled to snatch the ball out of their feet.
Evening became even worse for the visitors when Coro scored his third. This Manuel with the assist, from the right wing. Manuel sighted the run of Coro to the far post and crossed in for him. It just needed a tap in to put it into nets and Coro did the same. Mandar also tried his luck on goal few times. But he was denied by Paul. Goa created few more chances, but none were converted.
In the 69th minute, Courage swiftly managed to cut in to beat one defender and take a shot. But Kuttimani made no mistakes in stopping the shot. Kerala Blasters FC were now back to defending as the home side threatened them with number of attacks.
In the 84th minute, Kerala built up a chance on the edge of Goa’s box with good one two passes. Courage launched the shot at end, but he was again denied by Kuttimani. Two minutes later, Blasters again built an attack. Mark tried to curl the ball in on the far post with a chip. But the ball hit the cross bar and came back to Courage. He again took a shot, but that was saved too.
Last action of the game came in the last of the extra time. A quick series of passes by Goa gave the substitute Pronay to smash a long range shot. Paul was well alert to save it and save his side in conceding another of the evening.
At full time, FC Goa were 5 and Kerala Blasters FC were 2.