KICK-OFF: Dec. 14, 7.30PM IST [GMT +5.30], Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda.
Channel; Streaming: Star Sports HD1, 1, 3; Hotstar, Jio TV.
FC Goa are in a rut and need a win when they take on Northeast United at the Fatorda in what is being billed only by us as the ‘Cross-country Derby,’ (David James can’t wait to get on this train).
The Gaurs haven’t been at their free-scoring best and have failed to score in their last two games – they had scored in every game prior to that.
They’ve lost twice and drawn once in their past three matches and one of those was a defeat against a struggling Pune City side.
Goa have slid down to fifth position in the table and their lack of goals has a direct correlation with their form considering they are not a side which parks the bus after taking a 1-0 lead.
Coro has seen a slight dip in his form and hasn’t scored in the last three. Today could just be the sort of game where Coro gets back into his element with the added motivation of getting back in among the play-off spots before the winter break. The forward is joint top of the league in both goals and assists.
After three consecutive draws, Northeast United have seen Mumbai go up a notch over them on the table and Jamshedpur, FC Goa and ATK snapping at their heels.
ATK dragged them to a draw in their previous match by putting in a defensive masterclass against Federico Gallego and Bart Ogbeche.
Apart from the obvious focus on joint top scorers of the league Ogbeche and Coro, today’s encounter will be determined by which team dominates in midfield.
Ahmed Jahouh and Edu Bedia for FC Goa, Rowllin Borges, Jose Leudo and Gallego for Northeast United are some of the top midfielders in the league.
With the reverse fixture earlier in the season playing out into an exciting draw and the quality of players on display in today’s game, tonight’s match promises to be one of the games of the season.
FULL-TIME: FC Goa 5-1 Northeast United
92′ GOAL! 5-1 [Miguel Palanca, Assist: Edu Bedia, FC Goa]
90′ GOAL! 4-1 [Bart Ogbeche, NEUFC]
84′ GOAL! 4-0 [ Coro, Assist: Hugo Boumous, FC Goa]
71′ GOAL! 3-0 [Hugo Boumous, Assist: B. Fernandes, FC Goa]
69′ GOAL! 2-0 [Edu Bedia, Assist: Hugo Boumous, FC Goa]
59′ GOAL! 1-0 [Coro, Assist: Jackichand Singh, FC Goa]
A resurgent FC Goa put Northeast United to the sword with a comprehensive 5-1 victory here at the Fatorda.
The first half ended with neither team breaking the deadlock, but Goa created some good chances and looked the more likely team to get ahead.
Redeem Tlang had a great chance to put Northeast United ahead early in the second half, but failed to apply the finishing touch. The game could’ve taken a turn in Northeast United’s favour if a penalty was awarded for a blatant handball in the box by the Goa defender Carlos Pena. But it wasn’t given and NEUFC have every right to be aggrieved.
The Goan blitzkrieg started around the 59th minute (Running sum xG) with a goal from ‘no points for guessing’ Coro. Jackichand Singh who was outstanding tonight crossed the ball into Coro who was in a great position to score and did exactly that.
Coro had three good chances (Top shooters xG) and scored a brace tonight which is a much-desired trait in any striker. The forward is now the top goal scorer in the league this season and is tied with Iain Hume on the all-time ISL top scoring list with 28 goals from 30 matches.
Apart from Coro, Hugo Boumous, Edu Bedia and Miguel Palanca were the other goalscorers. The standout players for Goa tonight were Jackichand Singh, Hugo Boumous and Brandon Fernandes who had Goa moving forward with purpose (Top Creators xG).
In related news, Bart Ogbeche got a late consolation goal for Northeast United.
The Gaurs’ overall xG (Expected Goals) tonight showcases how utterly dominant they were and serves as a warning they can turn the style on when they want to.
With the win, Goa move into third position at NEUFC’s expense with the Highlanders sliding into fourth on goal difference.