FC Goa top table with Delhi win

FC Goa played true to form and came off as clear winners against Delhi Dynamos. In the process, the much-improved FC Goa left the Delhi side gasping as they topped the league stage of the 2015 Hero Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

Romeo Fernandes of FC Goa, whose brace inspired Goa's comeback victory, shoots and scores their second goal against Delhi Dynamos FC, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, on Sunday.   -  ISL Sportzpics

FC Goa played true to form and came off as clear winners against Delhi Dynamos. In the process, the much-improved FC Goa left the Delhi side gasping as they topped the league stage of the 2015 Hero Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

Dynamos wasted a 2-0 lead and conceded the top slot in the league to FC Goa, who finished with 25 points. Dynamos finished fourth and the two teams meet again on Friday in the first semi-final. In the second semifinal, Atletico De Kolkata will take on Chennaiyin FC the next day.

Serginho Greene and Adil Nabi scored for Dynamos in the first half but FC Goa hit back when Romeo Fernandes knocked in two goals and a final-minute strike by Joffre Gonzalez sank the opposition.

A header by Reinaldo Oliveira from a Debabrata Roy floater in the 20th minute was a close escape for Delhi Dynamos. Action shifted soon to the FC Goa box, where Vinicius floundered in wanting to slice the ball through a narrow angle. But the goal came soon, in the 31st minute, when Greene headed in a Florent Malouda free kick.

There was more trouble for FC Goa in the 40th minute. Dynamos, in fine rhythm now, mounted raids in a torrent, stretching the Goa defence and raising constant hopes of a goal. The breakthrough was a fine execution of a move that saw Richard Gadze flick the ball into the box and an onrushing Nabi slotted it in with a firm shot.

FC Goa made an effort in the second half but was thwarted early when John Arne Riise made a goalline save off a Reinaldo drive with goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh out of position. The contest gained in speed and FC Goa, having looked the better side on resumption, hit back with two superb strikes by Fernandes.

Fernandes got his first goal with a deft left-footer that grazed the goalkeeper’s fingers on way to the net in the 68th minute. A counter-attack, in the next minute, sent Reinaldo cruising on the left flank and the drag-back was met firmly by Fernandes, who displayed excellent anticipation. The goal by Joffre in the 90th minute, beating the off-side trap, brought the curtain down on a fine encounter.

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