INDIA. Goa: FC Goa extended their unbeaten run to four games with a resounding 3-0 win over Jamshedpur FC. A brace from Jorge Ortiz combined with Ivan Gonzalez’s first-ever goal in the Hero Indian Super League and Naveen Kumar’s fine show between the sticks saw the Gaurs rule the roost at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.
Juan Ferrando rang in three changes for the game with Naveen Kumar getting his first start of the season in goal. The gaffer also brought back the experienced Lenny Rodrigues into the starting line-up alongside Alberto Noguera. Out stepped Princeton Rebello and Igor Angulo.
Jamshedpur came up with the first big opportunity in the game. The 10th minute saw Isaac Vanmalsawma test Naveen early on. A fierce shot looked to have been heading to the bottom left corner of the keeper before the man from Punjab flung himself to keep the game on level terms.
Goa quickly answered back as Ortiz and Romario tested the Jamshedpur backline with incisive runs.
Ferrando’s decision to play Ortiz upfront would be vindicated in the 19th minute of the game as the Spaniard fired the Gaurs into the lead. Noguera showed his class as he first got the better of Ricky Lallawmawma before finding Ortiz in the middle of the box. The Spaniard took a calm first touch before slotting it past TP Rehenesh in the Jamshedpur goal.
At the other end, Naveen Kumar also vindicated Ferrando’s trust in him. The keeper pulled off another save, this time from point-blank range in the 25th minute to help Goa keep the lead.
The Gaurs characteristically kept the lion’s share of the possession for the rest of the half and strode into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
Gaurs build on the lead
Juan Ferrando’s men started the second half in a similar fashion as the first, dominating play right from the off. And their pressure paid dividends in the 52nd minute. Another sweeping move from the left saw Noguera play in Brandon, whose ball into the centre was neatly tucked away by the onrushing Ortiz for his second.
The Spaniard nearly got his hat-trick minutes later when Brandon again played in a ball into the centre. This time, Ortiz again found his way to the ball but a timely block from Eze stopped the score from reading 3-0.
Ortiz and Naveen continued to star for their side in the second half. The Spaniard saw two of his attempts blocked and then saved before going off in the 78th minute. Meanwhile, Naveen pulled off two brilliant saves in quick succession to keep Goa’s clean sheet.
Jamshedpur was reduced to 10 men in the 86th minute when Alexandre Lima was sent off for a second yellow of the game.
Ivan Gonzalez rounded off the resounding victory with his first-ever ISL goal in the 89th minute which he started from the back and finished off himself, with much aplomb.
The Spaniard did well to take the ball down near his own box before setting off a rampaging run. The centre back skipped past a couple of Jamshedpur players before playing in Noguera on the right edge of the box. The midfielder repaid the favour to play Gonzalez in and the defender finished the move off with a finish that even Angulo would have been proud of.
The win and Goa’s second clean sheet of the season mean that the Gaurs jump to the third spot on the table with 18 points from 11 games. The three points also see Juan Ferrando’s men create a four-point cushion from the teams pressing for a top-four spot.
FC Goa will next go up against ATK Mohun Bagan on Sunday, 17th January in Fatorda. The game is slated for a 7:30 pm kickoff.