FC Goa ends pre-season with 2-1 win over Indian Arrows

Princeton Rebello scored the winner for FC Goa, which had been pegged back by a Sanjeev Stalin header on 82 minutes.

FC Goa players celebrate scoring a goal against Indian Arrows at the Bamolim Athletic Stadium.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

It was a result FC Goa wanted and a test it needed ahead of the new season, as the Gaurs came out the victor in its final pre-season fixture against a feisty Indian Arrows team. A late 88th-minute strike from Princeton Rebello helped the home side clinch the morale-boosting victory.

Miguel Palanca’s strike from the penalty spot had given FC Goa the lead before an opportunistic header from Sanjeev Stalin in the 82nd minute had silenced the crowd at the Bambolim Stadium. Goa, however, had the last laugh.    

The home side started the game on the front foot earning its first three corners within the first 10 minutes. The Gaurs, in fact nearly opened their account in the 11 minute when Brandon’s low whipped cross just eluded Palanca in the box.

A fervent Indian Arrows side showed real resilience at the back to stave off the initial period of pressure and the youngsters deserved credit for their showing in the first 45 with Boris Singh making Laxmikant Kattimani pull off a brilliant save on 29 minutes.

The two teams, however, went into the half without a goal to their name.

FC Goa turned on the heat in the second half. Jackichand Singh’s introduction helped the home team gain attacking impetus and it was he who was brought down by Anwar Ali following which Palanca stepped up to give Goa the lead in the 60th minute.

The match lost intensity following a host of changes by the home team and Goa was nearly caught flat-footed when Sanjeev Stalin rose highest to give Indian arrows the equaliser from a corner.

Princeton Rebello, however, had different ideas as the man from Goa made a terrific run to get at the end of a cross from the left to plant home the winner in the dying moments of the game.