Durand Cup 2021: FC Goa thrash Delhi FC 5-1 to enter semifinals

FC Goa have scored five goals in successive Durand Cup matches. Image Credit:
FC Goa have scored five goals in successive Durand Cup matches. Image Credit:
Tanay Apte

FC Goa’s clinical first half display guided them to a 5-1 win over Delhi FC in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Durand Cup. Despite a slow start, the ISL side looked completely in control as they cruised into the semifinals at the Kalyani Stadium on Friday.

FC Goa had five different players on the scoresheet, including their leading scorers Devendra Murgaonkar and Muhammed Nemil. Substitute Nikhil Mali scored a consolation for Delhi FC.

Delhi FC started the brighter of the two teams, creating more chances in the opening 15 minutes. Midfielder Rinreithen Shaiza got their first effort on target after his free-kick went straight to FC Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem.

A couple of minutes later, Mohammed Shahjahan exchanged passes with Fahad Temuri and drove to the edge of the penalty area. However, his eventual shot flew over the bar.

Delhi FC Forward Willis Plaza had the next effort as the capital side launched a counter-attack. The Trinidadian received the ball outside the box and forced a save from Dheeraj.

FC Goa make Delhi FC pay for missed chances

FC Goa showed Delhi what they were missing when it came to taking chances by scoring two quickfire goals. Nemil found left-back Sanson Pereira whose cross was headed in by Devendra, who had cleverly beaten the offside trap. Devendra opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

Three minutes later, winger Alex Romario drove forward on the right and sent a low cross into the box. It evaded everyone and fell to Nemil at the back post who had the simple task of tapping it in.

Stung by those two goals, Delhi FC upped their energy and also their ferocity. The game entered a period of hard tackles and fouls on both sides.

As the first half drew to a close, one such foul on the left wing led to FC Goa’s third goal. Brandon Fernandes swung in a free-kick which went over goalkeeper Lovepreet Singh and straight into the net.

Both sides made a number of changes at half-time and that led to a lull in the game as the substitutes settled in.

FC Goa substitute winger Redeem Tlang missed two one-on-ones. The first one was on a counter-attack where his finish was stretched and hit the post. The other went well wide of the same post after being put through by Saviour Gama.

In the 82nd minute, winger Nikhil Mali gave Delhi FC something to cheer about as he finished smartly after Plaza allowed the ball to run. However, they had barely finished celebrating when FC Goa scored another at the other end.

Right-back Leander D’Cunha got in on the act as he hit a volley into the ground at the back post. It looped over Lovepreet to make it 4-1 for FC Goa.

Romario put the icing on the cake in injury time, tapping in from close range to end another five-star FC Goa performance.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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