Noguera nets brace as FC Goa beat SC East Bengal in seven-goal thriller
FC Goa recorded their first win of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season as they beat SC East Bengal 4-3 in a thrilling clash at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Tuesday.
The game saw some stunning goals, but it was largely characterised by poor defending as the two teams kept exchanging blows. Alberto Noguera (14’) opened the scoring for FC Goa with a superb long-range strike before Antonio Perosevic (26’) equalised with an even better effort from distance. The Gaurs hit back instantly through Jorge Ortiz (32’(P)) to take the lead but were pegged back again as SC East Bengal made it 2-2 through Amir Dervisevic (37’). FC Goa then went ahead again before the interval as Perosevic (44’) put it past his own goalkeeper.
The second half began just as the first ended and SC East Bengal were level again as Perosevic (59’) made up for the own goal with a neat finish. Eventually it was Noguera (79’) who had the last laugh as FC Goa secured their first win of the season.
The fragility of the defences was on show as early as the sixth minute as SC East Bengal defendedr made a mess of a routine clearance to allow Edu Bedia to take a shot that flew just over in the sixth minute.
Three minutes later, SC East Bengal almost caught Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem with their high press as the goalkeeper just about managed to clear his lines.
FC Goa’s early pressure eventually told in the 14th minute when Noguera unleashed a screamer from thirty yards that completely beat Suvam Sen in goal. But just when it seemed that FC Goa would kick on and add to their tally their defensive vulnerabilities were exposed again.
Seriton Fernandes who was caught during a counter-attack gave away foul in a dangerous area and Perosevic from the resultant play produced a thunderous volley that went in off the post in the 26th minute.
The Red and Gold brigade though gave away a poor penalty at the other end as Seriton was fouled inside the box. Ortiz stepped up to convert it and put the Gaurs in front again.
SC East Bengal though equalised again three minutes later when Dervisevic’s cross from a free-kick evaded everyone and went straight into the goal for 2-2.
The game swung again this time in FC Goa’s favour as Perosevic saw a header from a corner hit him on the abdomen and fly straight into the net in the 44th minute
FC Goa led 3-2 at the end of a crazy first half where neither team had control of the match.
Jose Manuel Diaz made two changes at the break sending in Daniel Chukwu and Adil Khan for Tomislav Mrcela and Amarjit Kiyam but it did little to change the course of the game as both team continued to be shaky at the back.
Perosevic pounced on a poor pass from Glan Martins to beat two FC Goa defenders and score past Dheeraj to make it 3-3 in the 59th minute.
Three minutes later FC Goa had a chance to regain the lead when they opened up the SC East Bengal defence from out wide however, the defenders did just enough to put off Devendra Murgaonkar who fired his shot wide.
It was SC East Bengal’s turn to go close and Chukwu went through on goal in the 68th minute but Ivan Gonzalez denied him with a solid last-ditch tackle.
SC East Bengal had another chance to take the lead when Chukwu bullied a FC Goa defender to release Perosevic in space inside the box but despite having two options to pass to he chose to have a shot at goal which was saved by Dheeraj. Chukwu then fired over from the rebound.
FC Goa punished the Red and Gold brigade for the miss as they constructed a great passing move to get Noguera clear on goal and the Spaniard made no mistake in firing it past the goalkeeper in the 79th minute.
The Gaurs held on to their lead to claim a crucial victory as SC East Bengal remained winless in the Hero ISL.
The win lifted FC Goa off the bottom of the table as they swapped places with SC East Bengal who dropped from to eleventh.
FC Goa next face Bengaluru FC on Saturday while SC East Bengal take on Kerala Blasters on the same day.