Rafael Coelho scored the only goal of the game as FC Goa secured a vital 1-0 away victory against FC Pune City. The Brazilian wasted three glorious opportunities to score but made up for it with a stunning direct free kick from outside the box.
FC Pune City
Apoula Bete: 5/10
Didn’t have much to do apart from clearing the odd aerial ball. Could have done better to stop the Rafael free kick, but that’s nitpicking. Almost conceded a second after coming too far forward – he was beaten beautifuly by Rafael, but the striker couln’t convert.
Rahul Bheke: 7/10
The right back was largely successful in denying Mandar Rao any kind of space down the right flank. But Pune lacked numbers in attack he would have liked to contribute much more going forward. Had a magical moment when he denied Rafael with an amazing last-ditch headed interception.
Augustine Melwyn: 5/10
Made his first appearance of the season and found it tough to keep up with Joffre. Received a yellow card for a cynical tackle on the Spaniard. He did make some important interceptions whenever Goa whipped in some dangerous crosses.
Gouramangi Singh: 7/10
With Coach, Habas deciding to field an all Indian back four, Gouramangi was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the back line. He marshaled his troops well and kept Robin Singh quiet for large parts of the match.
Narayan Das: 6/10
His inch perfect cross for Tato from the left flank was one of the highlights of the match. He regularly powered forward and made himself available for the likes of Lucca and Sissoko.
Jesus Tato: 6/10
The playmaker was deployed on the wings, and showed glimpses of his undenied potential. Goa’s full backs did well to track him down and keep him quiet but his class shown through on occasion. His lack of pace made it that much easier for the visitors to keep him in check during counter attacks.
Mohamed Sissoko: 7/10
The former Juventus man bossed the middle of the pitch. Kept it simple and orchestrated his team’s attack, marauding forward whenever he was presented with an opportunity to do so. Made a crucial last-ditch tackle to intercept Rafael’s shot which would have been a sure shot goal.
Jonatan Lucca: 7/10
Was dynamic in the middle of the park. The Brazilian rarely conceded possession and released his side’s full-backs and wingers on regular occasions. Tracked back often and successfully dispossessed Goa’s players off the ball.
Lenny Rodrigues: 4/10
Had an unusually quiet game, and he should have contributed much more going forward. Lacked quality on the ball, and much unlike him, looked flustered throughout.
Anibal Zurdo: 5/10
Started a game for the first time in four matches but was completely isolated in the first half. At times Pune looked like they were playing without a striker. That was down to his failure to get involved in the game.
Dramane Traore: 4/10
Like his fellow forwards, Traore failed to make an impact on the match. He was out muscled by Goa’s centre backs which coerced him into drifting to the wings where his influence was minimal.
The attacker replaced the ineffective Anibal to inject some much-needed pace, but came on too late to have any real impact on the game.
Came in for Lenny Rodriguez with fifteen minutes left on the clock but wasn’t used by his team mates. Combined intelligently with Lucca for a one-two on the one occasion play went through him
Replaced Tato for the final ten minutes of the match. His only contribution was a free kick which went straight into the wall.
Was confident during set plays and looked comfortable every time the Pune players flooded his box. Playing after a four-match break, he commanded his area with conviction. Cleverly tipped over Lucca’s long range effort as well as Tato’s audacious attempt to score direct from a corner
Luciano Sabrosa: 5/10
Made some crucial interceptions to keep the home side at bay. He was strong in the air and had no trouble in winning the aerial battles. Had a comfortable outing for large parts of the match. Was embroiled in controversy though, as his shove on Anibal should have been penalised with a spot kick for Pune. Was also involved – unwittingly – in the other crucial moment of the game when it was his injury that caused the ref to pull play up – when Traore was through on goal.
Rafael Dumas: 8/10
With coach Zico adopting to field a back three, the 21-year old put in a splendid defensive performance. Made some fantastic sliding tackles and was wise with his positioning. Was arguably the best player of the match.
Gregory Arnolin 7/10
The Frenchman produced a calm and composed defensive performance. Was strong in his interceptions and tackles and wasn’t troubled much by Pune’s forwards.
Sanjay Balmuchu: 7/10
Performed his role as the central defensive midfielder to the letter. Made some crucial interceptions when Pune had the opportunity to break on the counter. His positioning was on point and aided his defenders with an efficient performance.
Mandar Rao Dessai: 5/10
The Indian endured a rather frustrating night down the left flank. Pune congested the midfield, it meant the winger didn’t have the space to run inwards and influence the game.
Richarlyson Felisbino: 7/10
Was energetic in the middle of the park. Went about his job without any tantrums and covered a lot of distance on the night. Linked up well with Rafael on a couple of occasions.
Romeo Fernandes: 5/10
Was largely ineffective and struggled to use the wings to good effect. He did find himself in good positions when Goa broke on the counter but didn’t look confident on the ball.
Joffre Mateu: 7/10
Missed a sitter from inside the box. Found himself 1v1 with the keeper but his side-footed shot went above the crossbar. Was a constant threat moving forward, his silky dribbling causing countless problems for the Pune defence, and it was on one of his rampaging runs that Pune were forced to concede the freekick from which Rafael converted so brilliantly.
Had three glorious opportunities to give his side the lead and further extend it. On one such occasion, he found himself absolutely free in the box but failed to direct his header on target. He made up for it with a gorgeous free kick from outside the box, and was an attacking threat throughout with his intelligent movement and immaculate technique.
Robin Singh: 6/10
Was isolated early on. Slowly but steadily his impact on the game grew. Dropped deep to receive passes and displayed clever off the ball movement. Was replaced at the hour mark as he continues to return to full fitness.
Raju Gaikwad: 4/10
Came on for Robin Singh at the hour mark, and did his job with the minimum of fuss as Goa sat deep and defended in numbers
Replaced Joffre with twenty minutes left in the game and added fresh legs to the equation as the Goans constantly kept the Pune defenders on their toes
Debabrata Roy – NA
Replaced the injured Sanjay Balmuchu with five minutes left, and did his allocated job well by doing nothing silly, and clearing everything that came his way