Goa beat ATK to deliver a hammer blow to their play-off hopes

FC Goa dominated ATK from start to end and picked up a 3-0 win over Steve Coppell’s side at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday. The loss was almost a death blow to ATK’s play-off ambitions, who just have two matches left to play in the league stages. ATK still have a slim mathematical chance of finishing in the top four, but it looks improbable if not impossible.

  • Jackichand Singh put Goa in the lead inside the very first minute of the match.
  • Ferran Corominas doubled Goa’s advantage on the 52nd minute.
  • Corominas then converted a penalty on the 81st minute to make it 3-0.

With Manuel Lanzarote unavailable for the match, Steve Coppell brought back striker Kalu Uche to the starting line-up, while Hitesh Sharma was drafted in the playing XI in place of Pronay Halder. For Goa, Edu Bedia replaced Hugo Boumous in what was an otherwise an unchanged line-up from the one Sergio Lobera put out in their last match against Delhi Dynamos FC.

The away team was put on the back-foot from the get-go as the Gaurs started the match in emphatic fashion and took the lead even before the first minute elapsed. Ferran Corominas carried the ball down the right wing and found Jackichand Singh inside the opposition box with a cut-back. The winger took aim and buried his shot past ATK goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja to give Goa a dream start.

The Gaurs were relentless with their attacking intent in the opening stages of the match and forced Arindam to make some important saves. Coro could have doubled Goa's advantage on the 13th minute but his subtle touch from Mandar Rao Dessai's delivery was narrowly wide of the far post.

Goa, Coro in particular, had several chances to test Arindam, but the ATK goalkeeper stood tall to save his team from any further damage.

ATK, on the other hand, offered little going forward and Lanza's absence on the field was pretty evident from their lacklustre showing in the opposition half. Things only went downhill for the two-time Hero ISL champions as Everton Santos had to hobble off the pitch after picking up a knock. Coppell brought on Andre Bikey to replace Santos.

The first-half came to a close with the home team one goal to the good. However, the scoreline barely reflected the Gaurs’ dominance in the first 45 minutes.

Coro was unlucky not to have scored in the first-half, but the Spaniard eventually got on the score sheet seven minutes after the restart. Arindam did well to block Mandar's stinging shot from the edge of the box but his parry fell inside the box. Coro was the quickest to react and slid the ball past Arindam to score his 12th goal of the season. The strike also helped him reclaim his spot at the top of the Golden Boot charts, after having lost the summit to NorthEast United FC's Bartholomew Ogbeche temporarily.

After the hour-mark, ATK mounted a desperate attempt to claw their way back into the match and came close to scoring through Edu Garcia on the 67th minute. Goa custodian Naveen Kumar, however, denied Garcia with a good save.

The Gaurs were content with sitting back and waiting patiently for counter-attacking opportunities and went on creating chances at regular intervals. One such attack almost resulted in Goa's third goal as Brandon Fernande sent Coro through. With his 13th goal of the season in sight, the Spaniard opened his body up and tried to find the bottom corner. Arindam, however, got the slightest of touches to the effort and managed to deny Coro.

The Coro-Arindam duel was, however, due for another chapter after the Spaniard’s quick feet inside the penalty box won Goa a penalty. Coro himself took over the responsibility to convert the spot-kick to make the scoreline 3-0.

The Gaurs were disciplined at the back in the final 10 minutes and secured the win which took them to the second spot in the table.

HERO OF THE MATCH  – Ferran Corominas

Ferran Corominas put in another masterclass of a performance, assisting Goa’s first goal and then bagged a brace for himself. The Spaniard was brilliant throughout the 90 minutes and was rightfully named the Hero of the Match. 

CLUB AWARDS 

Club Award – FC Goa 

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Jackichand Singh

DHL Winning Pass of the Match –  Ferran Corominas 

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Brandon Fernandes

Hero of the Match – Ferran Corominas 

WHAT’S NEXT?

FC Goa will host Kerala Blasters FC on February 18, while ATK’s next match will be against Mumbai City FC in Kolkata on February 22.

Visit our videos and photos section for exclusive videos and images from the match. 

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