The season got underway for the two heavyweights yesterday as FC Goa and Bengaluru FC locked horns at the Fatorda stadium. A totally revamped Goan side saw only 2 of the players continuing in the starting XI from the last game. While on the other hand, Bengaluru FC had their core retained and intact.
The Gaurs and the Blues shared the spoils as the game ended in a draw after very toughly contested 90 minutes. The Bengaluru side scored 2 goals in the first hour of the game with debutant Cleiton Silva and experienced defender Juanan Gonzales scoring a goal each.
The Juan Ferrando led side had their backs to the wall but they didn’t fail to make a statement. The resilient gaurs bounced back by snatching two goals in quick succession. Igor Angulo announced himself loud and clear by scoring a brace that helped his side equalize and grab a point.
Lets delve into the match ratings as we recapitulate the clash between the season 5 finalists.
Igor Angulo – 9
Probably the best player on the pitch, Igor was a livewire in the final third. He scored two goals in 3 minutes that helped FC Goa to equalize. The Spaniard had a vision for goals and we could see him piercing the defense and finding those empty spaces. Albeit the offside trap didn’t work in his favor on a couple of instances, still Igor Angulo made a name for himself in the opening game for FC Goa.
Jorge Ortiz – 8.5
Jorge dominated the wing and pretty much kept the Bengaluru flanks under control with his pace and silky dribbling. Jorge was an orchestral cog in the lineup as he added into the offense for the gaurs. Jorge showed some glimpses of his individual brilliance with his clever twists and turns on the ball.
Edu Beidia – 8
The midfield maestro, Edu captained the side for the very first time. Under his captainship, Goa has arguably maintained their fluid gameplay with a rather strong midfield. It was a huge game for the midfielder and he excelled with the added responsibility. His pairing with Lenny and the two centre backs helped Goa to keep things rigid and compact.
Ivan Gonzalez – 8
The defender who stood out for Goa last night was Ivan. He was rock solid at the back except for a couple of lapses here and there. With a relative young setup on the flanks, he had to spearhead the back 4. Nevertheless, his contribution to the setup was quite noticeable.
James Donachie – 7
The Aussie defender was on song with his passing as he maintained an accuracy of over 90% in his debut game. His clearances helped to keep the Bengaluru attackers at bay.
Md. Nawaz – 7
The young FC Goa custodian was pretty athletic on the pitch. As he is known for his ability with the feet, Nawaz did a good job of distributing the balls and building up the attacks from the back. Although he conceded 2 goals, his saves and clearances definitely stopped the Blues from adding more goals to their tally.
Princeton Rebello – 7
The 21 year old midfielder added to his experience as he got his first start for FC Goa. He was not quite accurate in terms of passing to some extent but he tried to put in a couple of crosses which ended up in an attacking equation for his side.
Seriton Fernandes- 7
The experienced full back, Seriton was decent in his first game of the season. He was pressing high up the pitch and also helped to keep the pacy Left wing of Benglauru under a constant check. Also, in terms of the defensive duties, Seriton had a good outing with a couple of clearances and interceptions to his name.
Lenny Rodrigues – 7
The defensive midfielder was running high on expectations after a stellar season. He clocked as much as 60 passes in the 65 minutes he played with an accuracy of 86%. Although the Goan defense was relatively more submissive in the first half, Lenny and Co. surely stepped up when needed.
Sanson Pereira – 6.5
The Salgaocar graduate Sanson Pereira made his ISL debut in the game. The 23 year old Left back had a tough time marking his opponents. The inexperience might have played against him, but with gametime Sanson can definitely make it big with FC Goa.
Len Doungel – 6.5
Len was below par if we compare it with his last outing donning the orange outfit. Len over committed a couple of times that earned him a yellow card. The imbalance between both the wings was quite visible which led to him being substituted out in the later half of the game.
Brandon Fernandes – 8.5
Brandon Fernandes coming into the mix was undoubtedly the turning point of the game. The man who has been tried and tested at the International level as well didn’t fail to outperform his peers. Both the attacks which ended into the net were initiated by Brandon, earning 2 second assists to his name.
Aiban Dohling – 7.5
The centre back had little to showcase after being brought on, in the dying minutes of the game yet he showed hints of the solidity he can bring to the table. With two vital sliding tackles Aiban nullified the lethal BFC attacks as well.
Alexander Romario Jesuraj – 7.5
Alberto Noguera – 7.5
Coming straight up from the bench, both of the players assisted and played a pivotal role in helping their side earn a point.