The double-header weekend saw FC Goa take on a struggling Kerala Blasters at the Fatorda stadium. The Gaurs looked in control of the game right from kickoff and rightfully walked away with all three points, pulling themselves up to the 5th spot in the league table. Let’s dive into the top-5 talking points from the thrilling encounter
- FC Goa’s first win :
FC Goa clinched their first three points of the season in a brilliant win against Kerala Blasters. They looked to be in control of the game right from the first minute, catching up more possession and linking up very well between the offensive parts and the defensive parts. Goa’s midfield played a very important role in the win, with noteworthy contributions time and again from overlapping fullbacks Seriton and Savior Gama who had their fair share in setting up the balls for the attackers as well.
Brandon was lively in his 60-65 minutes of gametime, with Edu Bedia playing his part exceptionally well. Jorge Mendoza had a praiseworthy performance as well, scoring the second goal for his team tonight. But the main focus was on Igor Angulo, about whom we discuss in the following topic.
- Igor Angulo :
Igor scored twice tonight in a 3-1 win over the Kerala Blasters. The Spaniard picked up his 5th goal of the season and currently leads the golden boot race. He has been lively ever since the start of the season, scoring everytime he took onto the field. While the first goal was a cool, calm and classic chip over the keeper’s head, the second one was simple pouncing on the loose opportunity – something we always expect from a goal poacher. He could have scored the first hattrick of the season as well, but his fate had other ideas when his controlled shot in the 16th minute hit the woodwork – something we will discuss in our 4th topic.
- Kerala’s integrity :
Kerala Blasters have started this season just like they have been doing since 2015 by struggling. The yellow army had high expectations after signing last year’s I-League winning coach Kibu Vicuna but with only 2 points from 4 games, it seems like they are losing their way this time too. Although it’s too early to comment, Kerala needs some integrity in their team, they need to step up and get the team going. Although they have a pretty solid defence on paper, they have been consistently leaking goals this season. Kerala started the game with counter-attacking mentality, but switched to a possession based game late in the second half after Muraay walked onto the field. Costa’s red card tonight could prove very costly for the team who are already missing their inspirational midfielder Cidoncha due to an injury ahead of the big game against Bengaluru FC.
- Woodwork :
The wood work intervened twice tonight for FC Goa, who otherwise, could have won with a bigger margin. First it was Jorge Mendoza hitting the crossbar with a brilliant shot 20 yards away, but the ball bounced and went straight in the path of a Kerala defender who cleared it with ease. Jorge was fouled, but he managed to pick himself up and unleash the shot at around the 7th minute mark, which saw blasters keeper rooted to the spot. The second incident came just a few minutes later, where Igor Angulo found a huge space for himself to open the scoring, but unfortunately hit the upright. Igor, who had ample time to choose a spot and place the ball in the net, chose to hit a finesse shot which bounced off the woodwork and safely reached into the hands of Albino Gomes.
- Albino Gomes :
Hero for the Blasters in their last game, Albino Gomes saw his fortune take a 180 degree turn after the team conceded thrice tonight, with the third goal virtually being a straight assist for him. The keeper collected the ball and chose to kick it off, and rolled it onto the pitch without looking at his surroundings, where Igor Angulo was waiting for his opportunity. The spanish striker took away the loose ball in a flash and scored the easiest goal of his career, to further extend his team’s lead in the dying moments. The keeper was to be solely blamed for the incident, whose little awareness could have saved the already struggling blasters team from embarrassment.