Bengaluru FC’s hopes of a top-four spot came to an end with a 1-2 loss against FC Goa in the 101st match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Fatorda Stadium. FC Goa hurt the Blues early in the piece with goals from Igor Angulo and Redeem Tlang and eventually completed a fine victory.
Bengaluru FC started the match on the front foot and moved the ball around fluently. They almost went ahead in the 5th minute when Dheeraj Singh spilled a long throw-in from Parag Srivas. The in-form Cleiton Silva looked to tap it in but Seriton Fernandes came up with a goal-line clearance.
Parag also tried to deliver a cross from the right wing but the ball was cleared to Suresh Singh Wangjam who struck the ball wide of the target. Alberto Noguera delivered an FC Goa free-kick to the far post only to see Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pushed it away for safety.
Bengaluru FC and Gurpreet almost had their hearts in their mouth when Alexander Romario Jesuraj’s shot-cum-cross almost sneaked into the net. However, Gurpreet was alert to the task as he parried it over the post at the last moment.
Eventually, FC Goa took the lead in the 20th minute as the veteran Igor Angulo added one more goal to his tally. It was a poor way to concede for Bengaluru FC as Erik Paartalu gave the ball away to Glan Martins and the local lad passed it to Angulo who fired a lot shot past Gurpreet.
Just a couple of minutes later, Bengaluru FC could have equalized as Dheeraj received a back pass and struck the ball straight to Sunil Chhetri. Chhetri couldn’t capitalize as the ball rebounded back to Dheeraj quickly.
FC Goa soon made it 2-0 when Redeem Tlang came up with a neat finish into the bottom-right corner. Seriton Fernandes’ cross from the right side of the box wasn’t cleared by Bengaluru FC and Romario laid the ball for Redeem to take a snap-shot and bag his first goal of the season.
The youthful exuberance of Suresh Singh Wangjam did bring Bengaluru FC back into the game as he received a pass from Cleiton and raced to the box. Thereafter, the youngster showed superb composure to lob the ball over Dheeraj from a tight angle.
Soon, Angulo almost bagged his second goal but his curling effort went wide of goal. Bengaluru FC looked to be on the ascendancy but Cleiton Silva couldn’t keep his header on target after Udanta Singh delivered a cross from the right flank. The Naushad Moosa-managed side were quite unlucky as Cleiton’s header hit the woodwork from a Xisco free-kick. Two minutes later, Dheeraj made a fantastic save to stop Chhetri’s header from going in.
Bengaluru FC got another free-kick early in the second half too but Xisco’s delivery just had too much pace for Chhetri to rein it in. A while later, Angulo was presented with a golden opportunity as he got behind Bengaluru FC’s defense to get to the end of a through ball. However, his dinked effort went wide with only Gurpreet to beat.
India’s No.1 custodian Gurpreet made an easy save when Ivan Gonzalez headed an Edu Bedia free-kick straight at him. FC Goa substitute Ishan Pandita could have added another goal but his strike was deflected by Gurpreet to the side-netting.
Mohamed Ali also tested Gurpreet with superb headers late in regular time. In the end, FC Goa wrapped up a crucial 2-1 win as regards the play-off race.
Who was the Hero of the Match?
FC Goa’s Glan Martins bagged the ‘Hero-of-the-Match’ award for a complete performance in the middle of the park. It was his interception that robbed the ball off Erik Paartalu and set-up a simple goal for Igor Angulo.
As expected for a Gaurs midfielder, Glan was neat in possession and maintained a passing accuracy rate of 90.7%. The best thing about the 26-year-old was how he won most of his ground duels while performing his defensive duties to perfection.