FC Goa rally to beat Kerala Blasters and go on top of the table | Indian Super League 2023-24
FC Goa continued on their unbeaten run in the Indian Super League as they beat Kerala Blasters FC by a 1-0 scoreline at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Sunday.
The Gaurs were given the lead by Rowlin Borges in stoppage time in the first half from a set-piece situation.
Borges struck the bottom right corner of the goal from the centre of the box and landed the first and, as it turned out, only blow in this game. Victor Rodriguez bagged the assist thanks to his cross.
Kerala Blasters, coming into this game on the back of a come-from-behind 3-3 draw against Chennaiyin FC at home, had more possession than the home team. But, the latter trumped them when it came to putting shots on target.
Noah Sadaoui, playing up front, created a flurry of chances for Goa with his link-up play with Rodriguez and brought the likes of Raynier Fernandes and Boris Singh into play.
Udanta Singh and Carlitos, who came on in the second half, bolstered the Gaurs' attacking push, but thankfully, their strong back-four managed to ward off the threat posed by the Blasters on their goal.
Adrian Luna and Kwame Peprah tried to attack the Goan goalpost, but they were often thwarted by the likes of Odei Onaindia and Sandesh Jhingan.
Goa's fullbacks Jay Gupta and Seriton Fernandes were often successful in warding off the visitors' attempts as well.
Manolo Marquez has led a massive revival at Goa
Former Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez, who moved to the west coast earlier this year, has led a revival at Fatorda.
The Gaurs, who ended last season in the seventh spot, are at the top position in the points table this year. They stand two points clear of the second-placed Kerala Blasters.
They have 19 points in seven games so far, whereas the Blasters have 17 in their nine. Goa have been unbeaten this season, having won six and drawn one game.
They have yet to come across a side that has challenged their supremacy. A lot of credit goes to the culture imbibed by new manager Marquez, who won the ISL title with Hyderabad in 2021-22.
They now prepare to host Mumbai City FC on December 12, while the Blasters travel to New Delhi to play Punjab FC on December 14.