ISL: Goa beats Kerala Blasters in five-goal thriller to go top - As it happened

FC Goa will be looking to pull clear of its top-four rivals when it takes on Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium today.

A win over Kerala Blasters will take Goa to the top spot.   -  ISL Media

Hello, everyone! Good evening. Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of FC Goa vs Kerala Blasters. This is Manasi Pathak and I shall provide you with all updates from the ISL match.

 

LIVE UPDATES:

 

- That was all from my end, thanks for joining me in this entertaining contest. Do tune in on our podcast, 'The Full Time Show', to hear my post-match thoughts. Thanks for your time and see you soon!

Full time: Goa 3-2 Kerala Blasters: The whistle goes off, and yes that is the ref this time! Goa has sealed three points here with Boumous scoring a brace. Goa goes on top of the ISL points table.

90+7' - A fan blows the whistle and the crowd confuses it for a signal from the referee. Oops!

90+5' - Len has come on for the injured Coro. The whistle can go off any time here as we have completed a minimum of five minutes.

90+4' - Coro goes down in the box after being fouled by the Kerala defenders but the referee doesn't award a penalty. He was trying to get to the end of a cross from Gama. Jeakson, who was brought in lately, put in a tackle for Coro. Coro limps off.

90+2' - Kerala, as expected, is desperate for a goal here. It is pushing hard to move forward up the field. Can Messi or Ogbeche do some magic here?

90' - Five minutes have been added on. Boumous, meanwhile, looks unpleased to be brought off as he was on course for a hat-trick. But Lobera played it safe for the Frenchman as he was already on a booking.

90' - Boumous is being brought off as Gama walks in. Can Goa hold on to its lead here?

89' - Chance wasted! On the counter, Coro breaks through the middle and finds Manvir on the right with a pass. Manvir runs to the Kerala box but fails to shoot in time, which allows Kerala to close down on him.

88' - Jahouh picks up a yellow and will miss the next game for Goa. Earlier, Boumous was given a yellow card too.

87' - Rakip comes off, Rafi comes on for Kerala. Do we have another goal in this game?

83' - GOAAAAAAAAAAL! Goa adds the third goal! Boumous it is again! Jahouh dinks the ball over the top for Boumous in the box. Boumous volleys it into the net and that is Goa 3-2 Kerala Blasters! WOW. THIS GAME IS GETTING INTERESTING!

82' - Cidoncha has again gotten involved in unnecessary activities. Now, he tries to annoy Brandon. This time though he picks a booking, as does Brandon.

81' - Chance! Sahal skips past Fall and fires from the box. The shot just flies wide! What a contest this has been!

78' - Jacki goes off for Goa and on comes Manvir. Can the youngster change the game for Goa? Goa is in dire need of some confidence here.

75' - Schattorie has brought on Sahal as Seityasen walks off. Seityasen had a good game tonight, he must be a happy man! Earlier, Tato -- Goa's assistant coach -- picked up a yellow from the ref for his unpleasant behaviour.

69' - GOAL! BARTHOLOMEW OGBECHE HAS BROUGHT KERALA BACK IN THE GAME! Ogbeche finds the net at the far post with a free header as he was left unmarked! It is Goa 2-2 Kerala, and the game is wide open now! WOW.

68' - Fall helps Pena to keep Ogbeche in control as the big man tries to penetrate the Goa box. Seems like Kerala is looking to bring on Sahal.

62' - Wide! Ogbeche almost gets his head to the cross whipped at the far post by Seityasen. Kerala is absolutely gunning for a second goal here!

60' - The game is paused for a bit as Nawaz gets treatment on the fingers of his left hand.

57' - Oh, oh! Poor decision-making from Jackichand. On the counter, Jacki rushes in from the right flank and instead of crossing it for Coro, who was unmarked in the box, he shoots it himself. And it goes over!

53' - GOAL! Messi Bouli scores, FC Goa 2-1 Kerala Blasters! The visitor bounces back with a gaol from talisman Bouli after he combined with Ogbeche. A lovely pass from Ogbeche rolls into the path of Messi, who sends it beyond Nawaz!

50' - Trouble for Goa as a failed clearance allows Ogbeche to pounce on the loose ball but Nawaz comes out of his line and collects!

46' - Second half begins. No changes from either sides yet.

Half time: Goa 2-0 Kerala - Goals from Boumous and Jackichand keep Goa in the lead at the break.

45+1' - GOAL! Jackichand Singh makes it Goa 2-0 Kerala! Yet again it was a team effort from Goa which led to a goal. Coro's cross from the edge of the box is sent into the net by Jacki's out-stretched boot.

45' - Two minutes have been added on.

42' - Corner for Kerala. Jessel takes it and Messi heads it down. After a string of passes, Lenny clears the danger.

40' - A scuffle breaks out between Seriton and Cidoncha as the former blocks the Kerala man's attack in the box. The referee intervenes but does not book Cidoncha. Replay shows that it was a clean tackle from Seriton.

37' - Seityasen tries to release Narzary in the box but Fall blocks it.

30' - Corner for Goa and Brandon takes it but it is cleared away by Gning. Goa has a goal's lead as we cross the half-hour mark.

26' - GOAL! Hugo Boumous makes it Goa 1-0 Kerala! Boumous taps in a cross from Mandar at the near post. A wonderful team effort from Goa as Brandon picked out Mandar with a peach of a pass from deep midfield.

23' - Goal-line clearance! Ogbeche blocks Fall's header at the goal-line following a corner-kick taken by Brandon.

22' - Coro stretches his foot out to connect with a long ball sent from the Goa backline. Coro can't send it into the net but Rehenesh sends it out for a corner.

- Meanwhile, in the I-League right now, it is Chennai City 0-0 East Bengal at half time. You can follow it live on our live blog.

19' - Shoulder to shoulder defending as Fall stops Messi from creating threat from the left side. It's been a great game so far!

19' - CLOSE! Beautiful run and cross from Rakip from the right flank. His cross is aimed for Ogbeche, who heads it towards the far post but just misses the mark!

16' - Free-kick for Goa and Brandon takes it. He swings it in for Pena at the far post and Pena sends the header into the hands of Rehenesh between the sticks. Pena was however offside anyway.

14' - Jahouh tries from distance but misses the mark. Earlier, Boumous took a bit to long to shoot from the box which allowed Kerala defenders to close him down.

11' - Corner for Kerala and it's taken by Cidoncha. He keeps it short and passes the ball around. The final delivery is played for Messi, who attempts a header but Nawaz saves the miscued attempt.

9' - Offside! Boumous' through ball finds Corominas up front and the Spaniard makes the run towards the target. However, the flag goes up as the linesman finds Coro offside just when the pass was made for him by his French teammate.

6' - Drobarov volleys the ball over the bar from the box after Messi tried putting pressure on Fall in the box.

2' - Seityasen tries to release Messi on the right channel but Pena clears the danger. Earlier, Goa had an early corner-kick but Brandon's short set-piece delivery didn't cause trouble to the visitor.

1' - Kick-off. Goa vs Kerala is underway at the Fatorda stadium.

- Brandon and Jackichand come in for Doungel and Manvir in the Goa midfield as the home side lines up in a 4-2-3-1 shape. Kerala, on the other hand, opts for a 4-4-2 shape. Seityasen, Gaikwad, Cidoncha are the three changes made by Schattorie.

Line-ups

FC Goa XI: Nawaz; Seriton, Fall, Pena, Mandar; Lenny, Jahouh; Jackichand, Boumous, Brandon; Corominas.

Kerala Blasters XI: Rehenesh; Rakip, Drobarov, Gaikwad, Jessel; Seityasen, Cidoncha, Gning, Narzary; Messi, Ogbeche.

 

Match preview

FC Goa, along with ATK and Bengaluru FC, is locked in a compelling three-way battle for the top spot in the league stage of the Indian Super League which guarantees a spot in the AFC Champions League.

The Gaurs will be looking to pull clear of their rivals when they take on Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Saturday.

“I think from now every match is a final, for us and all teams in the same situation. It's a very important match and we have to move step by step,” said FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera.

Kerala Blasters is also in dire need of a win, with anything less against Goa set to deal a massive blow to its top-four hopes.

“Chances are still there (of getting top-four). We had a good session yesterday. I don't focus on results. I focus on the process. If the process is good then results will come. As long as nothing is decided, we keep going,” said Kerala Blasters coach Eelco Schattorie.

Goa will seek home comfort as it looks to bounce back from the 0-2 loss away to ATK. Goa has won its last three home games and has conceded just three goals at home, the least by a team this season.

Tilting the scales in the Gaurs’ favour is also the fact that Kerala has kept just one clean sheet away from home this season.

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“I think Kerala now have improved compared to the side we played in Kerala. They have recovered some players important to the team. Kerala lost the last match, but the circumstance is very important to analyse, not only the result,” said Lobera.

Lobera’s record against Kerala has been exemplary. In five games against it, Lobera has managed to win four and draw one. However, there are concerns for Goa. Despite scoring 25 goals, the most by a team this season, it has been in a mini slump of sorts.

It has scored just three goals in the last three games from about 44 attempted shots. The likes of Ferran Corominas and Manvir Singh will look to turn things around in that respect while the impressive Hugo Boumous and Brandon Fernandes will look to create opportunities.

Defensive mistakes have hurt Kerala this season with the previous game against Jamshedpur FC a clear example. Abdul Hakku got sent off with a challenge before Raphael Messi Bouli’s handball gifted Jamshedpur a way back into the game. Bartholomew Ogbeche’s own-goal then gifted the opposition a 3-2 win.

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“Goa is a team that plays football the way I would like to play. It is the only team that plays possession-based football and they also have the quality to put balls forward. Our team, I have the tools to play the same kind of football but unfortunately, I don't have them fit all the time,” said Schattorie.

In attack, Messi Bouli and Ogbeche have been in fine form, scoring 13 out of the 18 goals Kerala have to their name. If they find their scoring boots, Kerala will fancy its chances on Saturday.

Match details

Goa vs Kerala Blasters can be watched on the Star Sports network and can also be streamed live on Hotstar. Kick-off is at 7:30 PM IST.