FC Goa and of Bengaluru FC Action during Match No 112 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between FC Goa and of Bengaluru FC of held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa, on 14 march 2024. Adimazes/ISL

FC Goa fought back to secure a comeback 2-1 victory against Bengaluru FC in a high-intensity Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season clash at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,
Fatorda on Thursday.

Odei Onaindia’s goal in the 22nd minute cancelled out Shivaldo Singh’s strike for the Blues, before Boris Singh netted the Gaurs’ late winner.

Goa’s 3-3 draw against Punjab FC earlier this week prompted head coach Manolo Marquez to make four changes to his playing XI. Narayan Das replaced Jay Gupta at left-back, and in doing so, notched his 50th appearance for the club. Rowllin Borges, Boris Singh and Carlos Martinez also started, instead of Raynier Fernandes, Udanta Singh and Borja Herrera respectively.

Following the kick-off, it took only two minutes for the game to see its first goal. A neat through-ball forward by Suresh Wangjam found Shivaldo, who beat goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh from the centre of the box to give the visitors the lead. Served thus with a rude wake-up call, the Gaurs intensified their attacks and were soon rewarded for their efforts.

Nikhil Poojary conceded a corner, and Noah Sadaoui’s kick was not dealt with properly by the Bengaluru defence. With the ball eventually falling to Odei, the Spanish centre-back took a shot that found the back of the net.

Just two minutes following the change of ends, Gerard Zaragoza’s side were reduced to ten men after Wangjam was given the marching orders for a foul on Boris Singh.

Realising that they now have a slight upper hand, the Gaurs quickly made numerous attempts to score. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh, however, kept the Blues in the game with some fantastic saves, including one against Carlos Martinez in the 53rd minute that was almost certainly a goal.

With both teams jostling for position and in the prowl for a breakthrough, Manolo Marquez introduced Jay, Borja and Udanta from the bench.
The timely substitutions sharpened the FC Goa side, and eventually, in the 81st minute, they took the lead. Borja received a pass from Jay and timed his low cross into the box with perfection to find Boris, who only had to tap in from right in front of the goal.

Over a quarter of an hour still remained until the full-time whistle, so the hosts had the task of navigating through a tricky phase – which they executed well, in turn, to take home the three points.

The victory also takes Goa to third place on the standings. Having amassed 36 points from 19 matches so far this season, the Men in Orange are just three points behind leaders Mumbai City FC and second-placed Mohun Bagan Super Giant.


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