FC Goa became the first side to be eliminated from contention for a spot in the playoff after the Gaurs succumbed to yet another loss on their home turf, this time losing 1-2 to Atletico de Kolkata. The result also sees Kolkata take another step closer to securing a place in the playoff for the third year running.
The visitors took the lead in the 28th minute via a Juan Belencoso header after threatening to do so since the beginning of the game. However, after a first half that saw Atletico run riots all across the pitch, Goa came back in style and Mandar Rao Dessai’s ripper of a shot from a few yards outside the box helped Goa back into the contest. However, as Goa went for the glory, they were caught out as Steven Pearson secured all three points for Jose Molina's men.
Here is how each player fared on the ground today.
Laxmikanth Kattimani (9/10)
Star of the game today for Goa. The custodian pulled off one stop after the other to keep the hosts in the game. Whether it be Javi Lara with his rasping efforts in the opening minutes of the game or Steven Pearson with his low effort around the hour mark, Kattimani was brilliant in getting his hands to the ball. Was left high and dry when it came to the goals.
Keenan Almeida (6/10)
Tormented on the right side as Robert and Abhinash Ruidas combined brilliantly to give the Atletico a real edge down that flank. Provided little going forward.
Raphael Dumas (5.5/10)
At fault for losing Belencoso for the first goal. Could have been punished further when he lost out to Postiga from a set-piece only to see the ball ricochet off the cross bar. Much better in the second half.
Gregory Arnolin (6.5/10)
The bedrock of the Goa defence looked shaky in the opening minutes, committing a number of errors including wayward headers that led to conceding of possession. However, he got back to his best in the second half the highlight of which was an acrobatic clearance to keep Belencoso from getting his second via a tap in.
Debabrata Roy (6.5/10)
Gave his all down the left and even took on the task of marking Pearson from set pieces. Roy might lack pace and guile. But none can question his heart.
Was largely anonymous in the first half with the Brazilian neither adding anything going forward nor shielding the backline. Came alive in the second half but gave away a bad free kick which led to Kolkata's second.
Trindade Goncalves (5/10)
Another Brazilian in centre midfield and yet another man who disappointed. Good with the ball at his feet, but failed to make any mark on the field.
Romeo Fernandes (6/10)
A tireless shift put in by Indian winger which included tracking back time and again to thwart the Robert-Ruidas combo for Atletico. Raided down the right time and again but nothing worth notice in the final third.
Joffre Gonzales (3/10)
Probably the most uninspired performance we have seen from the Brazilian in his whole career in the ISL. Couldn’t put a foot right for love or money.
Mandar Rao Dessai (7.5/10)
Came alive in the second half like his whole team. Delivered some really quality ball one of which caused Robert hit his own upright before providing the icing on the cake with his well-taken goal.
Nothing to write home about the forward except for a deft touch in the opening minutes that led to Joffre getting in behind the Kolkata defence. The “false nine” looked more false than a nine.
Julio Caesar (5/10)
Hardly had any impact in the game.
Robin Singh (5/10)
Had a golden chance to win it for the Gaurs but his header was a weak one and straight at Debjit.
Raju Gaekwad (NA)