FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez felt the result could have gone either way as after his team secured a dramatic win over Jamshedpur FC in a five-goal thriller the Indian Super League (ISL) on Tuesday.

The match, played at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, was a back-and-forth affair, with FC Goa rallying from behind to claim all three points. Despite Rei Tachikawa's early goal for Jamshedpur FC, FC Goa responded with quick goals from Noah Sadaoui and Carlos Martinez, seizing the lead. However, Seiminlen Doungel's second-half equaliser for Jamshedpur FC set the stage for a tense finale. Yet, substitute Borja Herrera emerged as the hero, scoring a late winner to secure FC Goa's 12th win of the season.

This victory extended FC Goa's unbeaten streak to six games, during which they triumphed in four matches. As a result, they ascended to third place in the standings, displacing Odisha FC to fourth. Moreover, FC Goa's hopes of clinching a top-two finish remain alive, contingent upon winning their final game and hoping for Mohun Bagan Super Giant to drop points in their remaining fixtures.

Reflecting on the match, Marquez spoke about the intense nature of the game, with both teams having their fair share of chances.

“The game was crazy. A lot of clear chances for Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa. For the crowd, it was a good game. I don’t know for Jamshedpur FC head coach (Khalid Jamil) but these kinds of games are heads or tails and today was (heads) for us. My feeling is that we had more chances than them. And finally we won the game. Now at this moment we have only one game to finish the regular season and it is the most important,” he said in the post-match press conference. 

Marquez made strategic substitutions during the 80th minute, introducing Herrera and Raynier Fernandes, followed by Brison Fernandes and Udanta Singh. This quartet’s introduction noticeably strengthened FC Goa's hold on the game.

Herrera came close to scoring again after being brought on and eventually bagged a crucial goal after a mistake from Jamshedpur FC keeper Vishal Yadav.  Brison Fernandes, another impactful substitute, revitalised FC Goa's midfield upon entering the field and played a crucial role in setting up Herrera's goal.

Marquez admitted to some uncertainty regarding his substitution choices but acknowledged Herrera's significant impact on the game.

“In fact, I was doubting a lot about the substitutions. In fact, I was thinking a lot about what to do because the game was completely crazy. We had a lot of spaces, but more than defending, we were not compact. Maybe if we put a third team on the pitch, we could play with three teams today because the spaces were very big. I was doubting a lot about the substitutions and in this case, Borja entered. He has a good shoot(ing ability) from outside the box. In Mumbai, he could have scored two or three goals. Today he shot two three times and the chance which was less clear but it was a strong shot and it was a mistake of the goalkeeper (which led to the goal),” Marquez explained.