FC Goa beat Cartagena FC 3-2 in third pre-season friendly
New Delhi, Sep 7 (PTI) FC Goa defeated Spanish side Cartagena FC 3-2 in the third pre-season friendly at the La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain.
Having taken a three-goal lead through a brace from Coro and new signing Jackichand Singh's strike on Thursday night, the Indian Super League (ISL) side allowed Cartagena to claw their way back into the game for a tense finish.
According to information received here, the Gaurs, however, managed to hold on to their lead to make it three wins on the trot in the pre-season tour.
The ISL outfit began proceedings in their usual swashbuckling style by dominating the play. They moved the ball around well with crisp passing and maintained majority of the possession.
A few minutes into the game, they created their first real opportunity when Jackichand's cross found Edu Bedia but the Spaniard could not connect well as the Cartagena goalkeeper saved his tame effort.
The Gaurs continued to create numerous opportunities, and took a much-deserved lead in the 18th minute when Edu Bedia's exquisite through ball found Jackichand, who made no mistake.
FC Goa continued to dominate the game creating plenty of opportunities, but failed to increase their lead.
Then, in the 42nd minute, Coro finally got the breakthrough as he latched on to a beautifully weighted pass from Ahmed Jahouh over the Cartagena defensive line to smartly chip the ball over the keeper into the back of the net.
The second half began in the same manner as the first half, as the Gaurs continued to dominate the play.
In the 55th minute, Hugo Boumous intercepted a pass and played the ball to Mandar Rao Dessai on the wing. Mandar then combined well with new signing Miguel Palanca, whose attempt at goal rebounded off the keeper into Coro's path, who was on hand to slot the ball home to give the Gaurs a 3-0 lead.
The Goan side continued to play well, but failed to create any real opportunities.
Cartagena were able to reduce the deficit in the 71st minute with a 25-yard screamer. The Gaurs lost their composure during this passage of play as Cartagena kept pressing hard. Nirmal Chhetri gave away a penalty in the 81st minute as the Spanish side converted the spot kick.
With the scoreline reading 3-2, Cartagena pressed hard for the equaliser and created a number of opportunities, but the Gaurs' defense stood strong.
In the 88th minute, former Bengaluru FC keeper Ralte made a wonderful save to his left to deny Cartagena the equaliser