Last season's ISL league phase winners FC Goa kicked off their 2020-21 Indian Super League season by playing host to Bengaluru FC. FC Goa were looking to retain the league champions title and win the tournament for the first time. Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, had a trophyless season for the first time last year and were hoping to get back to winning ways this season.
The game started as a cagey affair. Both the teams used the first few minutes to take a measure of their opponents. Bengaluru FC did break the deadlock in the 27th minute through a Cleiton Silva header. FC Goa did have the majority of the ball possession but couldn't do much with it.
Bengaluru FC doubled their lead in the 57th minute through a Juanan goal. Spanish striker Igor Angulo's brace helped FC Goa get a point from the opening game. The match ended 2-2.
Bengaluru FC and their love story with set-pieces continue
Bengaluru FC have been the best team in India with set-pieces in the last few seasons. Today they showed again why they are so dangerous with set pieces. Both their goals today came from set-piece routines.
Bengaluru FC have also demonstrated how to utilize throw-ins as a weapon, and today it was in full show. They also troubled the Goa defense with their unique corner and free-kick routines.
With teams now deploying set-piece coaches, it is evident that they are now considering the fact that set-pieces are an important department and need special attention. Bengaluru FC are one team in India that has made use of set-pieces to the fullest.
Opposition must take special care while playing against Bengaluru FC as the likes of Eric Paartalu, Juanan, Fran Gelez and Deshorn Brown can punish teams with the use of set-pieces.
FC Goa, on the other hand, wasted their set-piece chances as they made a hash of things.
Bengaluru FC's Indian trio disappoint in opening act
Bengaluru FC have three of the best Indian forwards present in India in the form of Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, and Ashique Kuruniyan. When Bengaluru completed the singing of Ashique Kuruniyan, a lot of pundits and commentators billed it to be the best Indian trio present in any Indian team.
Today, with the season's opening game for Bengaluru FC, a lot of their fans and Indian national team fans hoped for a good showing from the deadly trio. Alas, that wasn't to happen as the likes of Sunil Chhetri failed to live up to expectations.
At the same time, Ashique did help his team defensively and made at least one crucial block. Sunil Chhetri had a poor game with the Indian team skipper attempting just one shot at goal which was also off target. Udanta had the most flawed game among the trio. He had a poor pass success rate of only 57%. His runs were also something that didn't trouble the Goa defense much.
Igor Angulo justifies the hype surrounding him
The former Polish league top scorer is FC Goa's replacement for the mighty Ferran Corominas. Having to replace someone like Coro in the Indian Super League is no mean task.
Igor had a slow start to the game as he took his time to get used to the surroundings. But in the second half, he showed his true colors with some brilliant runs and then he scored a brace within four minutes to salvage a point for FC Goa. The inclusion of Brandon Fernandes in the second half looked to be the key to unlocking Igor Angulo. The former Spanish youth team player managed to keep the Bengaluru defenders on their toes at all times and made some brilliant runs which helped his colleagues create space to exploit.
Igor's brace helped FC Goa get one point from the match. But the game also outlined many flaws present in FC Goa which need to be rectified if they are to reach the heights of the previous season.Published 23 Nov 2020, 00:18 IST