ISL 2018-19: Playoff race? A piece of cake for FC Goa

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ISL
FC Goa have kept four clean sheets in a row for the first time in ISL...

FC Goa taught ATK a footballing lesson on how to dominate and win a game in the Indian Super League when the two teams clashed on Thursday at the Fatorda Stadium.

There were waves of attacks knocking on ATK's door right from the off and it took just 53 seconds for the hosts to carve the visitors open. A good passing move resulted in Ferran Corominas crossing the ball into the centre from the right flank.

Jackichand Singh scored in less than 80 seconds after kick-off against ATK in 2015 and the then Pune City winger's left-footed strike was ISL's fastest goal back in the day. Although that record was later beaten more than once, it took just 53 seconds for the winger to find the net against the same opposition on Thursday, this time with his right foot.

FC Goa ATK

ATK never looked like recovering after that early blow and Goa continued doing what they do best - attack. How often do we see teams sit back after scoring one or two goals? With Goa, that is a rarity. Sergio Lobera's team executed their gameplan to perfection whereas ATK's tactics failed. 

The hosts used the wide areas to good effect. Pritam Kotal and Ricky Lallawmawma struggled to deal with not just wingers but also full-backs. Seriton Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai played high up the field and marauded forward at every opportunity. It was the latter's shot from the edge of the box that Arindam Bhattacharya fumbled into the path of Ferran Corominas, allowing the striker to make it 2-0.

There was controversy around the second goal, however, with Edu Bedia appearing to be in an offside position and whether he was interfering with the play was open to interpretation.

FC Goa ATK

Ricky was beaten by Corominas as the striker dribbled into the box in the 81st minute but the Spaniard went down under very minimal contact with the extended leg of the full-back to fool the referee into giving a penalty. The scoreline read 3-0 a few minutes later and the siege was complete. However, in all fairness, Coro should have been booked for simulation for that piece of act.

Edu Garcia struggled to make the expected impact and without an injured Manuel Lanzarote, nothing that ATK did in the attacking third worked and apart from a couple of good shots from the Spanish midfielder, Naveen Kumar had a quiet day at in goal. 

FC Goa ATK

The defence did well on the few occasions they were asked to do a job and quite remarkably, have now kept four clean sheets in a row for the first time in ISL. 

With this thumping win, Goa have moved to the second place in the standings, three points behind leaders Bengaluru FC. Two out of their last three matches are against the last two teams on the table. With a consistent attack and a massively improved defence, it is safe to the say that Goa's playoff opponent will find it very difficult to bring them down.

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