Goals emerging from set-pieces lend a thrilling element to winning matches. FC Goa (FCG) coach Sergio Lobera credited assistant coach and fellow Spaniard, Jesus Tato, for the acquired art by his players. Three out of four goals scored by the Gaurs in the win over Mumbai City FC (MCFC) came from corner-kicks. Lenny Rodrigues slotted home the first with a shot on the turn, Hugo Boumous headed in the third before Carlos Pena side-footed in the fourth.
FC Goa goes top with 4-2 thumping of Mumbai City FC
Tato and Lobera were part of the coaching set-up at Goa last season, too. The former, in fact, started his Indian Super League career as a player at FC Pune City in 2016 as a striker. Explaining about the work done behind the scenes for the goal from set-pieces, Lobera said, “Our assistant coach, Tato, is very good with these situations and helps us during the match.”
Rodrigues adjusted to trap the ball bouncing from a corner-kick by Brandon Fernandes for the first goal, trapping and firing home on the turn with his right before the defenders could close in. Amrinder Singh in goal could only hope to cover the angles during the next two FCG set-piece executions. Mourtada Fall came in at the far post and headed a Ahmed Jahouh free-kick to the other post for Boumous to nod home strongly.
Pena’s goal was a clever tap-in from a narrow angle to guide a curling Edu Bedia free-kick from near the corner flag. “We worked on defending set-pieces. My players knew what to do but still they did not. If you do not do as I say, then I need to change you. I will not close my eyes (to mistakes),” reacted Jorge Costa, the MCFC coach.
Mumbai City, too, netted a goal from a dead ball situation. Mohammed Larbi floated his corner over the crowded Goan defenders inside the six-yard area which was met by defender Sarthak Golui, who directed his header to the far post, over a flummoxed goalkeeper Mohammed Nawaz.
More goals from free-kicks and corner-kicks will force defenders to be more careful. The sense of joy in players executing the set-pieces was evident in the jubilation among the coaching staff in the dugout.
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