Injury-hit Goa snatch unlikely win against Blasters

An injury-hit FC Goa snatched an important win against Kerala Blasters, beating them 2-1 in the Hero ISL match at the Fatorda stadium here on Thursday. The win, their third in the league, took FC Goa to 10 points from five matches. Captain Gregory Arnolin nodded in the match-winner in the 83rd minute for an unlikely win for the host.

FC Goa skipper Gregory Arnolin celebrates his winning strike with teammates.

An injury-hit FC Goa snatched an important win against Kerala Blasters, beating them 2-1 in the Hero ISL match at the Fatorda stadium here on Thursday.

The win, their third in the league, took FC Goa to 10 points from five matches. Captain Gregory Arnolin nodded in the match-winner in the 83rd minute for an unlikely win for the host. Kerala Blasters, despite giving one of their better performances in the league, slumped to their third straight defeat in the league and has four points from five matches.

The Goans, until Arnolin’s goal, were playing catch up with the visitors who were clearly the better side in the second half. The Goans punished the Kochi side for sloppy defending during corner drills which saw them score both their goals. Blasters failed to convert chances during its period of dominance and paid a heavy price for it in the end.

Blasters’ coach Peter Taylor made five changes in the starting line-up. The changes brought the desired effect on the Kerala side, which played positively from the start. With slick passing and better coordination, the Kochi side was able to control the play in the midfield. Defenders Jinghan and Marcus Williams also moved up to create chances but strikers Watts and Rafi weren’t allowed space by Luciano and Arnolin.

However, in the 24th minute a fine cross by Rahul Bheke from the right flank saw Rafi beat Kattimani with a header to put the Blasters in the lead. The Goans regrouped after the reverse with Moura shoring up the responsibility of initiating the moves. But the Blasters’ defence was able to baulk the Goan moves and Rahul nearly doubledBlasters’ lead in the 39th minute with a curling shot off a free-kick, which was tipped over for a corner by Kattimani. As the Goans pressed hard the visitors conceded a needless corner, which paved way for the equaliser. Blasters’ goalkeeper Stephen palmed a corner taken by Jonathan Lucca and the ball came to an unmarked Leonardo Da Silva Moura, who whipped in a right footer from top of the box for the equaliser in injury time.

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