ISL: Goa goes down to Cartagena in first pre-season friendly

FC Goa ahead of its pre-season friendly against Spanish outfit FC Cartagena.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

FC Goa took on FC Cartagena in its first pre-season friendly at the La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain but was unable to come away with a victory as the Spanish outfit won 4-1.

FC Cartagena's Kuki Zalazar got onto the scoresheet in the first minute and the lead was doubled 12 minutes later. Adrian Colunga got the Indian club back in contention with a goal in the 18th minute, but the team was unable to pull another goal back as Cartagena added another couple of goals before half-time.

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Goa put on an improved performance in the second half but was unable to get onto the score sheet.

Goa's defensive lapses hurt it the most. Cartagena striker Zalazar was quick to pounce and put his side ahead seconds after kick off and Cristo was on hand to double the lead.

Brandon was replaced by Mandar Rao Dessai early on after he picked up a minor knock. Thereafter, Sergio Lobera’s men settled down and looked for a way back into the game and they were rewarded with their persistence after a good team move saw Arana slip a lofted through ball to Colunga who promptly put the ball in the back of the net to bring FC Goa back into contention. Seriton was the first player to go into the referee’s book for a tackle in an attempt to win possession back.

With Sergio Lobera’s men looking to push forward, Goa was caught out in defense as Zalazar scored his second of the evening. Three minutes later, the Indian club was 4-1 down with Poley beating the defense to net Cartagena’s fourth goal with the referee calling time not long after.

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Goa put on a much improved second half performance as it tried to salvage something from the encounter. Sergio Juste, Ali and Liston looked sharp in their first match for the club, with Pratesh impressing as well. However, Goa was unable to get the ball into the back of the net. Cartagena did manage to score a fifth goal late on, but the referee’s flag for offside denied them.

Goa will take on Real Murcia B in its next friendly.

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