Wednesday , February 8 2023

FC Goa’s three-game unbeaten run ends at the hands of ATK Mohun Bagan!

A lovely first-half strike by Anwar Ali proved to be not enough for FC Goa, as goals by Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous helped ATK Mohun Bagan to a 2-1 win over the Gaurs at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Goa head coach Carlos Pena rang in as many as four changes to the playing XI from the draw against Jamshedpur FC – the most he has made for any game so far this season. While Marc Valiente and Glan Martins replaced Fares Arnaout and Brison Fernandes, Makan Chothe and Noah Sadaoui made way for the return of Redeem Tlang and Alvaro Vazquez.

Hosts ATK Mohun Bagan got things up and running soon after kick-off, creating their first big chance in the 6th minute itself. Dimitri Petratos pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the box and pulled the trigger, but missed the target with his attempt.

Four minutes later, they were in the lead. Once again, it was Petratos who made the difference as he collected the ball from a throw-in, advanced through the right side and fired a shot into the near post after catching Goa shot-stopper Dheeraj Singh off his line.

The Gaurs did well to stage a comeback, however, and after numerous attempts on goal, they pulled one back in the 25th minute. Edu Bedia did well to deliver an dangerous ball from a free-kick which an outstretched Anwar Ali prodded into the back of the net courtesy of a delicate touch.

With parity restored on the scoresheet, Pena’s boys created more goal-scoring opportunities with renewed vigour. They were almost rewarded for it just before the half-time whistle, but Redeem Tlang’s final pass into the box was intercepted by Brendan Hamill.

Following the change of ends, it did not take long for the Mariners to regain the lead with ex-Gaur Hugo Boumous scoring in the 52nd minute. Ashique Kuruniyan did well to win the ball in a dangerous area before passing it across the pitch to Petratos. The Australian did well to look up and find Boumous at the far post to give the home side the lead once again.

The goal put the Gaurs on the back seat for a while as ATK Mohun Bagan created chances through Petratos, Boumous and Liston Colaco. Some astute defending by Anwar Ali, Glan Martins and Aibanbha Dohling, however, averted the danger for the visiting team.

In the 75th minute, Pena’s boys came close to scoring, once again through Anwar as he tried to lob the ball over Kaith off an Edu Bedia free-kick. This time, though, the youngster saw his effort deflect off the crossbar and cleared away.

Meanwhile, Kuruniyan spurned an easy chance at the other end, firing wide off an empty net from just six yards out with the goalkeeper beaten and not in sight.

The Gaurs got one last attempt to find an equalizer in the third minute of injury time, when Edu Bedia launched another free-kick into the Mariners’ box. This time, the ball was cleared away by the wall and the clash ended with the Men in Orange suffering their fifth defeat of the season.

The loss further resulted in FC Goa remaining at fifth place on the standings. Up next for them is a clash at home against defending champions Hyderabad FC on January 5.

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