FC Goa defeated Odisha FC by 3-2 as a strike in the added time by Jay Gupta helped the Gaurs cap off a competitive contest in their favour at the Fatorda Stadium this evening. Mourtada Fall and Noah Sadaoui bagged a brace each for the Juggeranuts and FC Goa respectively. However, it was 22-year-old Gupta’s goal merely minutes before the full time whistle that enabled Manolo Marquez’s men to take away three points from the game.
Sergio Lobera and his teams have developed a knack of being lethal from set-pieces. It was one of the core ingredients of his success with Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21. A similar pattern has been evident with the Juggernauts this year, including this match where Fall netted from a corner kick to hand the visitors an early lead.
Lalthathanga Khawlhring delivered an accurate cross that met an onrushing Fall. The Senegalese centre-back beat his marker and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper. The towering defender refused to celebrate as he raised both hands as a mark of respect to his former club.
The Gaurs got their act together thereafter, creating quite a few remarkable chances but were unable to finish off any of them. Midfielder Carl McHugh came close to equalising in the 36th minute and so did Brandon Fernandes, five minutes later. Odisha FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh had gotten off his line but Odisha’s backline resurrected to prevent the attacking midfielder’s shot from going into the back of the net.
Eventually, it was Noah’s quick footwork that earned him a spot-kick after the half-time break. Fall brought the 30-year-old down and a clear penalty was awarded to the home team. Noah converted that kick, but was asked to retake it as the referee deemed the first strike to have been a foul. Unperturbed, the player calmly sent the ball past Amrinder to secure the equaliser.
There was renewed energy in the attacker’s offensive moves thereafter. He embraced a more direct approach, quickly winning a ball from Jerry Mawihmingthanga before getting behind the Odisha backline and slamming the ball straight past the goalkeeper to break into a resounding celebration in the 68th minute.
Ahmed Jahouh and Fall, two former FC Goa teammates, came together to secure Odisha’s second goal of the night, yet again from a corner kick. Jahouh delivered a pinpoint pass and Fall carried out a repeat of his previous effort, with the only difference this time being that he was on the far post this time around and not on the near one.
The Gaurs wouldn’t settle for a solitary point though, and Gupta’s goal in the 96th minute symbolised that relentless spirit. They rearranged their backline but simultaneously kept seeking goal-scoring opportunities, which resulted in Victor Rodriguez assisting the fullback, who demonstrated decisiveness at an important moment to help the home team bag the win.
Key Performer of the Match
Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)
The attacking midfielder spearheaded Goa’s comeback, scoring twice in addition to notching five tackles, putting in a whopping 16 crosses, and creating three goal-scoring opportunities to round off a match-winning performance.
What’s next for both teams?
FC Goa will play their next match away from home against East Bengal FC on October 21 whereas Odisha FC will square off against Kerala Blasters FC in Kochi on October 27.
FC Goa 3 (Noah Sadaoui 55’ 68’, Jay Gupta 90+6’) – 2 (Mourtada Fall 6’, 81’) Odisha FC