While Delhi Dynamos have looked one of the better teams in the league this season, FC Goa’s tournament has been one to forget. Already out of the reckoning for the knockout stages, the finalists of last season were looking to play spoil-sport against the early pace-setters this season.
The home team, which was looking to win to move closer to the knock-out stages, started the game on the front foot. Keeping the ball as well as creating most of the chances, Delhi easily looked the better team on the pitch. Against the run of play and after a melee, FC Goa got the first goal with a simple tap-in from Fulganco Cardozo.
It was a well-executed training move for Delhi’s first goal. Florent Malouda passed from a 25-yeard free kick, Marcelinho controlling well and finishing past Laxmikant Kattimani in the 38th minute. The Brazilian scored his second with a belter in the 48th minute, a pile-diver which beat Kattimani all ends up.
After the re-start, Richard Gadze celebrated his comeback with a brilliant finish from a Marcelinho pass in the 51st minute. The Brazilian completed his hat-trick in the 56th minute, with a bamboozling move against the FC Goa defenders.
The forward’s wizardry caught FC Goa’s defence off-guard and Marcelinho, yet again, converted with a low finish. Richard Gadze scored his second goal, in the 57th minute, finishing off another brilliant move from the home team. The game finished 5-1, the second-largest margin of victory this year, after Mumbai City FC defeated the Kerala Blasters 5-0. Delhi Dynamos own the record of being the only team to be undefeated at home in the league this season.
Here are the five major takeaways from the game
#1 The return of Richard Gadze worked as a boon for the home team
Such has been the impact of the diminutive Ghanaian striker that he effortlessly walked into the starting XI as soon as he was declared fit. With Gianluca Zambrotta almost forced to change his plans in the last game with the absence of both Gadze and Badji (due to suspension), Delhi Dynamos got a major boost with the return of their hard-working striker.
While the striker did look a little jittery in the beginning phases of the games, he came out-of-the-blocks pretty soon. Linking up brilliantly with Marcelinho, Gadze created two good opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the game itself.
The striker was always peppered on the field, with opposing defenders not giving him an ounce of space to operate. Gadze’s return, though, bodes well for the Lions as the striker is already looking inspiring and capable of link-up play.
Scoring in the 51st minute with a brilliant shot from a Marcelinho assist, the Ghanaian striker’s comeback must have made the Italian coach a happy man. The striker did not end his homecoming there and got his second in the 57th minute, although with a little luck.