FC Goa have found their rhythm in the ongoing Indian Super League. On October 21, The Gaurs registered a thrilling 2-1 victory against East Bengal at the Kalinga stadium in Odisha. This victory for FC Goa was a hard-fought one, despite the team being dominant for the majority of the match. Despite doing well in the first half, FC Goa ended it being 1-0 down.
However, in the second half of the match, Goa turned things around for themselves. Despite losing Brandon Fernandes to injury, the team made a successful comeback. In the 74th minute of the game, Sandesh Jhingan scored an equalizer for The Gaurs. A minute later, Victor Rodriguez added his name to the scoring sheet and took FC Goa’s score to 2-1. Overall, FC Goa had a great outing and registered their third consecutive victory.
However, both teams have plenty to take away from this game. In this article, we will look at five takeaways from the game between East Bengal and FC Goa:
5. East Bengal hasn’t lived up to the expectations
At the start of the season, East Bengal fans had plenty of expectations from the team. After all, the team didn’t have the best of seasons last time around. However, this season is again turning out to be a disappointment for the Kolkata-based club. While the team lost the Durand Cup final to arch-rival Mohun Bagan, the ISL season hasn’t been any better. In four games, East Bengal has won one, drawn one, and lost two.
The loss against FC Goa would hurt more because the team lost the match from a winning position. Despite holding the ball for a long time, East Bengal was not able to create chances. In the entire game, the club took four shots out of which the only one on target was the goal they scored. Naturally, their lack of ability to finish and win games will be concerning for the management and fans.
4. East Bengal FC’s backline crumbled under pressure
When East Bengal scored the first goal of the game, it was obvious to expect FC Goa to increase their efforts in attack. While the team did the same by creating chances, East Bengal initially did well to contain The Gaurs. The Red and Gold team ended the first half with a respectable 1-0 score.
However, in the second half, the entire backline of East Bengal FC crumbled. In two minutes, the team conceded two goals which led to an embarrassing defeat. Once the Kolkata-based team lost control and conceded goals, Goa dominated further proceedings and put the Bengal defense on alert on multiple occasions. In several instances, The Gaurs were close to scoring their third goal. Hence, heading into future games, East Bengal will have to work on their defense.
3. FC Goa displayed determination
When a team plays away from home, naturally, there is plenty of pressure. And especially when the game is against a team with plenty of history, it takes a special mentality to rise to the occasion. On October 23rd, FC Goa did the same when they faced East Bengal Football Club. Despite an early setback, The Gaurs showed incredible determination to come back and win the game.
While conceding first was a setback, losing their star player in the second half could have crushed the whole team. Yet, Goa recovered quickly from their loss and put up brilliant performances. This mindset from Goa is impressive because even against Odisha FC, the former gave their best to find a late winner towards the end of the game. FC Goa can seriously challenge for the title if they can keep the same performance and determination throughout the season.
2. Brandon Fernandes and Raynier Fernandes are here to stay
When FC Goa signed Raynier Fernades, fans knew of the Mumbai boy’s talents. After all, Raynier made quite a name for himself during his stint at Mumbai City and Odisha FC. However, what people were probably not aware of was how formidable his partnership with Brandon Fernades would be. On several occasions against East Bengal, Raynier and Brandon led the charge of Goa’s attack. The duo were instrumental in mounting pressure on East Bengal’s backline.
While The Gaurs lost Brandon in the second half due to an injury, Raynier Fernades continued his decent performance on the pitch. Despite not being on the scoresheet or assisting a goal, Raynier was a crucial link between Goa’s defense and attack. As the Gaurs continue this season, Raynier and Brandon’s contributions will be vital in their pursuit of the title. However, before that, it’s crucial to examine the seriousness of Brandon’s injury.
1. Victor Rodriguez was the star of the match
While all players who make the matchday squad possess talent, the quality of a football player can be judged by how they perform in clutch situations. Against East Bengal, Victor Rodriguez thrived in a similar situation and proved why he was vital in Goa’s attack. The Spanish footballer orchestrated Goa’s comeback in the second half in a way no one could imagine.
First, during the 73rd minute, Boris Singh earned a free-kick for FC Goa. Rodriguez, who has a reputation for being good with set pieces, launched a ball inside the box, which was beautifully finished by Sandesh Jhingan. This goal assisted by Rodriguez, got Goa back in the game. However, the Spanish international didn’t stop there. A minute later, he received a brilliant pass from Carlos Martinez, which he converted into a goal to give FC Goa a 2-1 lead.
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