Goa stay top of the table after convincing win over Kerala

A ruthless FC Goa side defeated Kerala Blasters FC 3-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi to cement their position at the top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 table going into the second international break of the season.

The defeat was Kerala’s second loss on a trot and the men in yellow find themselves in the seventh position of the table, with seven points from as many matches. Goa have 16 from an equal number of matches.

  • Ahmed Jahouh set up Ferran Corominas for the first goal on the 11th minute.
  • Coro grabbed his eighth goal of the season to make it 2-0 in the dying minutes of the first-half.
  • Substitute Manvir Singh scored his first goal of the Hero ISL on the 67th minute to give Goa a 3-0 cushion.
  • Nikola Krcmarevic grabbed a consolation goal for Kerala in stoppage time.

The home team started off by pressing Goa high up the pitch and almost took advantage early. Keziron Kizito picked Ahmed Jahouh's pocket inside the Goa box and got his shot off, but Mohamed Ali was positioned well to put in a crucial block. Shortly after having almost cost his team a goal for keeping the ball too long in his own box, Jahouh popped up on the other end of the field to set up the opening goal of the match. His measured cross from the right found Coro inside the opposition box and the Golden Boot frontrunner made no mistakes. His towering header left Kerala goalkeeper Naveen Kumar with no chance. Seventh goal of the season for Coro and 1-0 to Goa.

With both teams trading phases of dangerous possession, Kerala almost carved open the Goa defence on the 17th minute when Halicharan Narzary got on the end of a clearance and looked like he was through on goal. But Seriton Fernandes put in a terrific last-ditch tackle to snuff out the danger in exchange for a corner. Slavisa Stojanovic did manage to test Goa custodian Mohammad Nawaz from the resulting set-piece, but his effort was too tame.

Goa could have doubled their lead in extra time of the first-half after Jahouh's eye-of-the-needle chipped ball from deep made its way to Carlos Pena, but his effort went wide.

It seemed the two teams will head into the break with the score 1-0 in favour of Goa, but Coro had other ideas. The Spaniard cut in from the left and placed his shot perfectly between a diving Naveen and the far post to make it 2-0 with what was the last shot of the half.

In the second-half, Kerala found it difficult to break down the Goa defence and their best chance in the first 20 minutes came through a set-piece. First-half substitute Seiminlen Doungel’s low free-kick took an awkward bounce but Nawaz was vigilant enough to deal with it.

Coro could have completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark. The Spaniard got two bites of the cherry after a poor clearance by the Kerala keeper. However, his first shot was blocked by Anas Edathodika while Naveen dealt with the follow up. Naveen was called into action just minutes later to deny a shot from Hugo Boumous but couldn’t prevent a corner.

Goa, however, weren’t to be denied from the resulting set-piece. Substitute Manvir Singh eluded his marker and rose high to bury his header past a helpless Naveen. 3-0 to the Gaurs with 67 minutes on the clock. Doungel could have pulled a goal back almost immediately on the other end, but his vicious shot was saved brilliantly by Nawaz.

The Goa goalkeeper was responsible for preserving the scoreline yet again just a few minutes later when he used his feet to keep out CK Vineeth, after Doungel found him with a neat cut-back. The home team finally managed to pull a goal back on the 91st minute after Nikola Krcmarevic turned in a low cross from Sandesh Jhingan from close range. However, it was a little too late for the hosts.

Tonight’s four goals also brought up the 100th goal of the season after just 34 matches, which is the fastest-ever for any Hero ISL season.

Watch the match highlights here:

HERO OF THE MATCH – Ferran Corominas

Ferran Corominas continued his rich scoring form with a brace tonight. The brilliant Spaniard is the Hero of the Match. 

CLUB AWARDS  

Club Award – FC Goa

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Seriton Fernandes

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Ahmed Jahouh 

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Mohammad Nawaz

Hero of the Match – Ferran Corominas

WHAT’S NEXT?

Kerala Blasters FC travel to the home of the Highlanders on November 23 to play against NorthEast United FC, while FC Goa’s first match after the international break will be at home against the mighty Bengaluru FC on November 22.

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

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