FC Goa were forced to make five changes in the starting lineup due to suspensions. Amey Ranawade, Mohammed Ali, Pratesh Shirodkar, Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh replaced Bruno Pinheiro, Sergio Juste, Pronay Halder, Hugo Boumous and Brandon Fernandes. East Bengal went into the game with the same lineup that defeated Aizawl in the last round.
Quite expectedly, the Kolkata giants were in control of the game right from the beginning. Derrick Pereira’s side tried to press hard in the midfield and focused more on keeping their defence tight.
East Bengal should have been up by at least two goals by the 20th minute had Mahmoud Al Amna and Dudu Omagbemi been a little more clinical in front of the goal. Amna failed to tap in from a handshaking distance from Katsumi’s pass and then Dudu failed to score from a one-on-one situation with Laxmikant Kattimani.
FC Goa’s only chance to score a goal came in the injury time of the first half as Ferran Corominas entered the penalty box with a solo run. The striker went for the goal but Chullova did well to clear the ball from the goal line. The Spaniard attempted yet another shot at goal from the rebound but this time the goal post denied him.
Nothing changed in the second half as Dudu Omagbemi squandered two genuine goal-scoring opportunities. The first chance saw Dudu failing to convert a diving header from point-blank range from Lobo’s cross and the second one saw the Nigerian messing up another one-one scenario.
Goa almost punished East Bengal’s lacklustre show in the attacking third as Amey Ranawade received a through ball from Edu Bedia but as the youngster tried to chip the ball into the net, East Bengal custodian Ubaid was alert to deny him a dream debut.
East Bengal finally broke the deadlock in the 79th minute when Dudu tapped into the net from a teasing cross into the box by Katsumi Yusa. The Japanese curled a cross in from the left flank and Mohammed Ali failed to clear the ball. The Nigerian sneaked past the defender and directed the cross past a hapless Kattimani.
Dudu was forced to leave the field with a hamstring injury as Ansumana Kromah replaced him upfront for the last 10 minutes of the match.
Goa’s Edu Bedia got his marching orders after he kicked Kromah from behind. The referee did not have to think twice and showed him the second yellow.
Derrick Pereira’s men failed to convert two easy chances in injury time. The first one forced Eduardo Ferreira into a last-ditch clearance in front of the goal to deny Corominas an equaliser. Manvir lacked composure to convert after he was fed through on goal in the final minute of the game, allowing East Bengal to seal a memorable win on the day.