FC Goa picked up from where they had left off in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 tonight as they secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Hyderabad FC at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad.

A first-half brace by their striker Carlos Martinez ensured that the Gaurs walked away from Hyderabad with three points to their name to pip Kerala Blasters FC and get to the top of the standings with 27 points to their name.

Martinez had been one of the most prominent foreign recruits of FC Goa ahead of the campaign, and he had hit the ground running straightaway with a strike in their opening fixture of the season.

However, his influence began fading in encounters thereafter, with the duo of Victor Rodriguez and Noah Sadaoui donning greater influence in the proceedings.

However, with Rodriguez ruled out, Martinez has greater responsibility up his sleeves and he stood tall to those expectations in the first game after the mid-season break.

The first goal in the seventh minute came about as a result of some brilliant interlinking by Brandon Fernandes and the forward.

Fernandes took a corner and received it back, but his impeccable delivery inside the box was met perfectly by Martinez, who secured an early lead for the team. Brandon had been a brilliant influence otherwise too, as he looked sharp in his movements with an eye for a goal. His deliveries into the box were constantly troublesome to the Hyderabad FC defensive unit.

FC Goa kept pounding pressure on the offensive front, finding different avenues, but mostly from the left flank. Jay Gupta approached near the 18-yard box and pulled off an incredible outside-of-the-foot pass, which was incredibly powerful, and Martinez somehow booted it into the back of the net. The delivery was already in the path of the back of the net, but the Spaniard showed some terrific instincts to double the lead of his side.

Hyderabad FC were struggling to create goal-scoring chances, with only a long-range free-kick by Ramhlunchhunga in the 71st minute testing FC Goa goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh. The custodian dived on the right but got his palms on the ball and helped the Gaurs keep a clean sheet from the match.

Key Performer of the Match

Carlos Martinez (FC Goa)

Martinez scored twice, completed 23 of his 32 passes, and created four goal-scoring opportunities, to cap off an all-round performance from the No. 9. He was caught offside thrice, but overall the forward had made a resounding impact by then to get the victory of his side.

What’s next for both teams?

Both Hyderabad FC and FC Goa will face Hyderabad FC in their respective next encounters on February 5 and February 9.

Brief Scores

FC Goa 2 (Carlos Martinez 7’, 30’) – 0 Hyderabad FC 

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