Indian Super League: FC Goa secure play-off berth post 3-0 thumping win over Kerala Blasters
FC Goa registered an impressive 3-0 win over Kerala Blasters to become the second ISL side after Bengaluru FC to book their place in the play-offs this season.
To make the result all the more sweeter, the Gaurs have leapfrogged Bengaluru FC to go top of the table. Goa has 31 points from 16 games same as Bengaluru FC but with a better goal difference now occupies table top position. On other hand, Kerala Blasters, remain ninth after slumping to their seventh loss of the season.
FC Goa were on the money right from the start as Jackichand Singh threatened the Kerala defence as he twisted and turned the likes of Lalruatthara and Anas Edathodika on a couple of occasions. One of his efforts did beat Dheeraj Singh but came off the woodwork, much to Kerala's relief.
Kerala then found the back of the net through Slavisa Stojanovic after a quick interplay with Matej Poplatnik. However, the linesman had his flag raised after Courage Pekuson was deemed to be in an offside position.
Goa got a deserved breakthrough midway into the first half through Ferran Corominas. Brandon Fernandes' cross from the left was headed home with ease by the Spaniard after he was afforded a lot of space inside the box by Anas Edathodika and Sandesh Jhingan.
In the 25th minute, Edu Bedia doubled the lead by slotting the ball into an empty net. This was after Anas sent a back-pass to Dheeraj whose clearance was straight at Corominas. The Spaniard took a touch and laid the ball on a platter for Bedia who applied the finishing touch to make matters worse for the visitors.
Goa continued to see more of the ball with Kerala struggling to create any opportunity of note. However, the first chance in the second half fell to Kerala when Sahal Samad let loose from outside the box which finally forced a save from Goa custodian Naveen Kumar. But that was about it for Kerala, with Goa exerting control.
Before the hour mark, Ahmed Jahouh sent a brilliant ball over the top for Corominas who made a bustling run and managed to get beyond Anas and Dheeraj only for a last-ditch tackle from Poplatnik to avert the danger.
Jahouh could have added his name on the score-sheet with a long-range effort which went inches wide of Dheeraj's goal.
Goa sealed the victory in the 78th minute when the substitute Hugo Boumous dribbled past a couple of players and evaded the challenge from Jhingan to beat Dheeraj at his near post to make it 3-0.
There were late chances for Goa to increase their tally with Bedia seeing a wonderful lob over Dheeraj Singh come back off the post. However, Serio Lobera would not have been disappointed, having notched their fifth cleansheet in a row.
(With PTI Inputs)
National Unity Day: A tribute to Sardar Patel | Master Stroke
What all changed after J&K officially bifurcated into 2 UTs? | Master Stroke
Israeli spyware Pegasus snooped on Indian Journalists through Whatsapp | Master Stroke
Maharashtra: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut Meets Sharad Pawar
Drill displays IED diffused with the help of a robot by NSG
Article 370 only gave separatism and terrorism to J&K: PM Modi in Kevadiya
Let us work towards making India $5 trillion economy: Modi To Trainee Civil Servant | Full Speech
Radio Stations in Jammu, Srinagar and Leh renamed
Jammu and Kashmir to witness 'Acche Din'? | Seedha Sawal
Expert advice on how to survive poor air quality in Delhi-NCR