ISL 2015: Impressive first half helps FC Goa seal comfortable 2-0 victory against Delhi Dynamos
Two first half goals by Mandar Rao Desai and Reinaldo saw FC Goa defeat Delhi Dynamos at the Fatorda Stadium today. The game was poised to be a battle of the Indian Super League’s (ISL)Brazilian Coaches, Zico and Roberto Carlos, with the former coming out victorious.
Fans from both sides, expected an expansive style of football, which was delivered to them.
First half: One early and late goal highlight Goa’s dominance
Local boy, Romeo Fernandes dictated early proceedings, eventually making a major contribution in the first goal. Fernandes drove in a low cross from the right wing to find Mandar inside the box, who slotted home coolly to give the home side the lead within the first three minutes.
Goa adopted a possession-oriented style of play ,with Brazilian midfielder Moura dictating play from the central position. Delhi hardly saw much off the ball in the opening ten minutes and attempted to play on the counter.
Romeo spurned a glorious opportunity to double the lead in the eleventh minute as he completely mistimed a volley. The resulting loose ball was driven in hard by Moura, who saw his shot parried on to the post by Delhi keeper, Sanjiban Ghosh.
The game was quite stretched within the first fifteen minutes. Delhi initiated yet another counter attack in the 17th minute, but Gradzie failed to make most of the one on one situation as FC Goa custodian Andrade blocked the shot with his feet.
Immediately after, Delhi Dynamos winger Vinicius Ferreira whipped in a lofty cross from the left wing and found Florent Malouda, who headed the ball over the cross-bar. Delhi midfielder Hans Mulder almost found the equalizer on the 27 minute mark. His low drive from distance zipped past the post. Coach, Roberto Carlos looked animated on the bench.
Just as the half was about to close, Moura found Jofre with a long ball on the right hand side. The latter was fouled just outside the box. Jofre took the resulting free kick and whipped in a low and hard cross to find Reinaldo, who tapped the ball in from two yards out.
FC Goa’s defence didn’t have to do much in the first half.
Half Time: FC Goa 2-0 Delhi Dynamos
Second Half: Roberto Carlos fails to inspire Delhi’s attack
The second half ushered in two changes for Delhi. Manager Roberto Carlos, swapped the blazer for the jersey, coming on as Centre Back. Gustavo Dos Santos was also called from the Bench to add more fire-power down the flanks.
However, the second half's first chance fell to FC Goa as Reinaldo failed to curve the ball past Andrade, narrowly missing out. But, Delhi's game did improve. Minutes later, John Arne Riise tried to do exactly the same. His effort went even closer as he hit the post. The resulting loose ball fell to Malouda, who hit the right hand post.
The visitors were extremely unlucky not to half the deficit. This passage of play summed up Delhi's night.
In the 60th minute, Romeo Fernandes went on another blistering run from the right wing and Jofre found him with a deliciously weighted pass. Goalkeeper, Ghosh was sharp as ever as he came off the line to deny the winger from taking an unassailable lead for his team.
Minutes later, tempers flared between Dos Santos and Moura. The referee brandished a yellow card to the former
Malouda continued to look dangerous as ever as his 70th minute header was narrowly wide of the right post. Delhi made ample use of the wings in the second half, but were inefficient in the final third of the patch.
Goa unleashed another one of their vintage counter attacks as Reinaldo found Mandar with a defense cutting pass. He tried to round the goalkeeper, but Ghosh came of his line to deny the Indian midfielder. Emergency goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh was their best player, despite conceeding two goals.
With ten minutes remaining, Delhi began peppering the keeper with a couple of long range shots. Gradzie was the first to unleash a venomous effort from distance, but his shot was straight at the keeper , who did well to parry it for a corner.
In the final minute of the match, Roberto Carlos unleashed one of his trademark free kicks. The goalkeeper almost made a meal of it, but managed to latch on to it in the end.
The victory sends Zico's men to the top of the ISL table temporarily, for Delhi it's back to the drawing board.