FC Goa 2-1 NorthEast United FC: 3 things we learned from the ISL 2022-23 encounter 

FC Goa registered a comfortable win over NorthEast United FC [Image: FC Goa Twitter]
FC Goa registered a comfortable win over NorthEast United FC [Image: FC Goa Twitter]

FC Goa edged NorthEast United FC 2-1 in a one-way contest at the Fatorda Stadium on November 17, Saturday. Although the scoreline might not suggest a closer contest, the visitors were lucky to concede only two goals.

First-half goals from Edu Bedia and Iker Guarrotxena sealed three points despite a late Wilmar Jordan penalty in the stoppage time.

Noah Sadaoui's technique of picking out Edu Bedia, who made a late run into the penalty box, was brilliant. The Moroccan's peach of a delivery at the far post was diverted into the back of the net with a nifty finish from the Gaurs skipper in the 10th minute.

Iker Guarrotxena, who missed out on an easy header moments before, found the back of the net with a thumping finish in the 20th minute. The Spaniard latched on to a block from the NorthEast United defender to beat the hapless Mirshad Michu.

Another home game, another 3⃣ points 🧡🔥#ForcaGoa #UzzoOnceAgain #FCGNEU #HeroISL

The visitors were nearly beaten for the third time within 23 minutes when Noah Sadaoui's curler went a whisker away from the far post. The Moroccan received the ball from Anwar Ali and cut inside to his right to pick the far post, but it wasn't meant to be.

NorthEast United's brightest spot Romain Philippoteaux came close to scoring before half-time. The Gaurs' defender Anwar Ali made a crucial touch to divert the ball away from the target to keep the clean sheet intact.

Noah Sadaoui was in the thick of things in the second half. FC Goa's leading scorer failed to beat Mirshad Michu despite being presented with three golden opportunities.

The referee pointed to the spot after Anwar Ali was deemed to have handled the ball inside the penalty area in the 94th minute. Wilmar Jordan dispatched the spot-kick to half the deficit.

Carlos Pena's men moved one spot ahead by displacing Kerala Blasters from the fifth spot with 18 points on the board from 10 games. NorthEast United, on the other hand, are yet to bag a point despite taking up the field for 10 games this campaign.

Here are a few things we learned from an important victory for FC Goa.

#1 Iker Guarrotxena and Noah Sadaoui's movements were too hard to handle

Iker Guarrotxena and Noah Sadaoui's displays in this campaign are worthy of praise. The duo have linked up well to produce consistent displays over the last few months.

Iker found the back of the net with a thumping finish, while Sadaoui squandered three chances against NorthEast United. Those misses were unlike the Moroccan striker, who has found the back of the net on five occasions this campaign.

Carlos Pena will be hoping for more of the same from the attacking duo with the playoffs spot at stake. It will be interesting to see if the Spaniard reverts to the experienced Alvaro Vazquez, despite his poor form.

#2 More problems for NorthEast United

The scorecard was not a good indicator of the contest against FC Goa as NorthEast United were lucky to concede only two goals. A mixture of Mirshad Michu's saves and poor finishing from the opposition were the reasons.

On another day, Noah Sadaoui would have scored a hat-trick and Iker Guarrotxena would have added another one. However, it was just a bad day for FC Goa in front of the goal, despite scoring a couple against their opponents.

The entire team were in sixes and sevens and struggled to go toe-to-toe with the hosts, who were on song. Having lost 10 games on the trot, the Highlanders will take on ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC in what might prove to be a daunting fixture.

#3 Consistency is the key for FC Goa

FC Goa have won two games on the bounce since beating East Bengal and Chennaiyin FC in their opening two goals. The Gaurs have won six and lost four games this campaign. Carlos Pena will be hoping for his side to be more clinical in front of the goal to maintain consistency and cement a playoff spot.

The players have adjusted well to the new system and will be hoping to procure three points against Jamshedpur FC and ATK Mohun Bagan in their forthcoming fixtures. It is unlikely for FC Goa to dig deep in the January transfer market.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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