FC Goa scored when they had to and that was enough to send visitors Delhi Dynamos empty handed after ninety minutes that meandered between the beautiful and ugly side of football in FC Goa’s third home game of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda on Thursday.
Five goals in ninety minutes is fodder for exciting football but FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos played with extreme caution until FC Goa decided to go for the final push towards the end and were well rewarded with three points that sent them back to the top of the table.
The three goals that FC Goa scored were the three moments that separated the winners from the losers in a match that saw Delhi Dynamos enjoy domination. They scored twice and allowed FC Goa to come both times and for the first time captain Mandar Rao Desai and Brandon Fernandes made impact statements.
Mandar, who has been finding it difficult to adjust to his defensive duties, was responsible for the first assist that led to the first equaliser. For once, Mandar ran cautiously sent in a nice low cross towards Edu Bedia on top of the Delhi Dynamos box , to finish with a neat tap .
Delhi Dynamos roared back and FC Goa had to wait for Brandon to score his first goal in ISL. Brandon got a ball on the top of the box and instead of letting go a thundering shot – as is his style- let go a deceptive placement that caught Delhi Dynamo goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro all surprised.
Just when it appeared Delhi was playing to go home with a point, FC Goa went in for a final push towards the end of the game through a fee kick earned on top of the box. Boumous chipped the ball for Edu to nod in and leave the Nehru stadium in a riot of emotions.
The three points are crucial to FC Goa because the emphasis has shifted from individual (Coro) to team. Coro did not play wasteful but was not allowed to be colorful by the Delhi Dynamos.
Delhi Dynamos did not allow FC Goa to play from the centre. They threw their men in the middle forcing FC Goa to opt for the flanks. Jackichand Singh was well marked by Delhi captain Pritam Kotal, who was clearly, the best player of the evening.
Delhi Dynamo coach Josep Balague rightly opted to keep Goa’s Albino and Romeo on the bench and will rue the missed chances of his team . Delhi Dynamos could have returned home with a point.
In sports, grit counts and Sergio Lobera showed where to get it from.