FC Goa ends Delhi’s unbeaten streak
Margao, November 1
Tolgay Ozbey and Jewel Raja came to FC Goa’s rescue as they scored twice in the second half to help their side down Delhi Dynamos 2-1 after trailing by a Mads Junker goal for most of the game.
With this result, Harm van Veldhoven’s side unbeaten streak in the Indian Super League (ISL) came to an end as Goa became the final team to have registered a win in the competition.
Zico made as many as five changes to his line-up with Jewel Raja, Miroslav Slepicka, Romeo Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai and goalkeeper Jan Seda making their way in while Miguel Herlein, Ranti Martins, Laxmikant Kattimani, Gabriel Fernandes and Peter Carvalho being left out.
Harm van Veldhoven introduced Stijn Houben, Morten Skoubo and Francis Fernandes with Wim Raymaekers, Alessandro Del Piero and Steven Dias benched.
Goa had a brilliant start with Prabir Das hitting the woodwork and Andre Santos’ left-footed volley going inches wide in the first five minutes.However, it was Delhi who took the lead in the seventh minute. Hans Mulder spread out a beautiful through ball to Bruno Arias who found Mads Junker with a first-time cross. The Dane’s left-footed attempt was going away from goal, but he did just enough to guide the ball in with his second touch.
Slepicka had two chances in the 19th and 27th minutes respectively to level the score. The Czech striker slashed his shot wide after an advantage was played on by referee David Gantar for Houben’s foul on Santos. His second effort was tamely sent straight into the hands of van Hout.
To make matters worse for Zico, Andre Santos asked to be substituted after he was seen uncomfortably limping on the pitch.
Just after substitute Haroon Amiri made his way in, the Afghan missed from about three yards out from a cross by Mandar after Slepicka’s reverse ball found the latter on the left.
At the other end, Junker went straight through on goal but made a mess of his chance as Arnolin got back to take the ball off him in the 39th minute. In the same minute, Bruno Arias showcased some exquisite footwork as he got the better of Das but fired it over from an acute angle.
Zico’s half-time talk seemed to have done wonders for Goa’s confidence as they came out all guns blazing in the search for an equalizer. Romeo Fernandes twice came close in the 49th and 51st minutes. First he saw his scooped effort trouble the Delhi custodian. In his second attempt, he made an overlapping run on the right and slammed his shot at Van Hout who made himself big with the ball going inches wide.
Tolgay Ozbey made his way in just before the hour mark as Arnolin had to be substituted due to an injury with Amiri replacing him at the back.
Alessandro Del Piero took a couple of free-kicks which hardly troubled the Czech custodian of the home side.
Goa eventually bagged the equalizer in the 73rd minute. Narayan Das began the move from the left by releasing Mandar whose cross from the left was headed back into the box by Romeo on the right. Jewel Raja, who was unmarked in the area, calmly headed the ball to the left of van Hout which nestled into the back of the net.
Zico’s side went for the jugular and came close in the 88th minute when Slepicka’s snapshot went straight for Van Hout after Anwar Ali’s clearance bounced off Raja.
With six minutes of injury time added, Goa hoped that they would carve open the Delhi defense again. Ozbey latched on to Slepicka’s delightful lobbed through ball, to round the onrushing Van Hout to slot the ball into an unguarded net with Anwar Ali scampering.
As a result, FC Goa earned their first win of the competition and got off the bottom place with four points from five matches, while Delhi Dynamos sit pretty in the fourth spot with six points from as many matches.