FC Goa beat Jamshedpur FC 2-1 to return to winning ways in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on Thursday. Manuel Lanzarote scored in each half to seal full points for the home side. Trindade Goncalves scored the only goal for the Men of Steel in a game that was ultimately decided by atrocious refereeing.
Goa fielded a familiar side as Bruno Pinheiro, Mohammed Ali, Edu Bedia and Narayan Das replaced Sergio Juste, Chinglensana Singh, Pronay Halder and Manuel Arana in the starting lineup from the previous game against NorthEast United. Mandar Rao Dessai was back on the right flank with Golden Boot contender Ferran Corominas leading the attack once again.
Steve Coppell made three changes to his side. Andre Bikey, Siddharth Singh and Bikash Jairu replaced Anas Edathodika, Mehtab Hossain and Kervens Belfort. Izu Azuka, who scored twice in their 2-2 draw against Mumbai City, led the visitors' attack.
Goa were put under pressure in the early stages of the game, with Trindade Goncalves' surging runs causing Ahmed Jahouh plenty of trouble. The defensive midfielder soon picked up a well-deserved yellow card for a challenge on Goncalves from behind. Jahouh put himself in danger following that with multiple rash challenges but was spared by the referee.
Jamshedpur had a sight at goal when Azuka's venomous shot just missed the target in the 20th minute and at the other end, Coro was caught in two minds inside the box from a promising position. The league's leading goalscorer ended up sending a weak cross-cum-shot into the hands of Subrata Paul.
FC Goa were handed a fortuitous penalty soon when Andre Bikey executed a well-timed tackle on Brandon Fernandes inside the box after the winger dribbled into the area but the referee deemed it to be a foul and pointed to the spot. Lanzarote stepped up and made no mistake to give Goa the lead at the stroke of half-time.
However, a couple of off-the-ball tussles with Jerry Mawihmingthanga saw Lanzarote being booked by the referee.
Jamshedpur soon got the equaliser when Azuka and Goncalves were both left completely unmarked inside the box as Jerry crossed from the right. The Brazilian midfielder, who had been the brightest spot in Jamshedpur's attack, rose highest to head in the equaliser.
The referee once again stole the spotlight with a poor piece of officiating which led to Lanzarote restoring Goa's lead at the hour-mark. The linesman failed to raise his flag as Fernandes split the defence and released Lanzarote who was clearly offside. After a quick turn to fool Tiri, the Spaniard curled a finish into the top left corner, leaving the visitors distraught.
Manvir Singh, who replaced Brandon, had a good chance to seal the win for the hosts in the 86th minute. A well-timed long ball from Edu Bedia presented the young Indian striker with a one-on-one opportunity against Subrata Pal who forced Manvir away from goal. Despite rounding Subrata, the striker could only hit the post from an acute angle.
The visitors relentlessly tried to find an equaliser throughout the seven minutes of added time but the home side held on to bag the three points.