In a game of two halves, hosts Kerala Blasters came back from behind to beat FC Goa 4-2 in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.

Rowllin Borges and Mohammad Yasir found the back of the net for the Men in Orange early on, before Daisuke Sakai, Dimitrios Diamantakos (twice) and Fedor Cernych scored for the Southerns.

Earlier in the day, FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez rang in as many as four changes to his playing XI, as Noah Sadaoui and Udanta Singh returned in attack, while Rowllin Borges started in midfield.

Borges’ return took just 7 minutes to reap a reward, with the Nuvem native volleying home from a lovely corner-kick from Borja Herrera to draw first blood for the Gaurs.

In the 17th minute, the visitors took the lead, this time through Mohammad Yasir, who scored his maiden goal in orange by tapping in from an inch-perfect low pass from Noah on the left flank.

The first half concluded with FC Goa enjoying a two-goal cushion, only for Kerala Blasters to completely change the outcome in the remaining 45 minutes.

Six minutes into the second period, Daisuke Sakai curled in a direct free-kick beyond the reach of Goa goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh to kick-start the hosts’ comeback. In the 81st minute, Diamantakos scored from the penalty spot to bring the scoresheet back to level terms.

Three minutes later, he took advantage of a spillage by Arshdeep to tuck the ball into an empty net to give his team the lead, before Cernych completed their win with a right-footed strike in the 88th minute.

The defeat has also resulted in the Men in Orange dropping down to fifth place on the points table. With 28 points from 15 matches, they are one point behind Kerala Blasters in fourth and four points behind league leaders Odisha FC.

Next up for Marquez and his boys is another assignment away from home, at the Mumbai Football Arena on Wednesday, February 28, where they take on Mumbai City FC.


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