ISL 2017/18: Coro brace helps FC Goa sail into the play-offs
It was a high octane affair as three goals and two red cards decorated the virtual quarter final...

FC Goa continued their good run of form when they defeated Jamshedpur FC 3-0 away from home on Sunday to ensure qualification to the knock-out stage.

A brace from Ferran Corominas (29', 51') and a sublime strike from Manuel Lanzarote was enough for the Gaurs to set up a semi-final date with Chennaiyin.

FC Goa made a solitary change to the side that thumped ATK 5-1 in their previous match as Ahmed Jahouh came in for Edu Bedia in central midfield. Naveen Kumar retained his place under the sticks, and he was protected by a backline of Narayan Das, Sergio Juste, Sana and Seriton Fernandes. Pronay Halder and Jahouh were the two defensive midfielders which allowed more freedom to Hugo Boumous in an attacking midfield role. Mandar Desai and Manuel Lanzarote operated on the flanks with Ferran Corominas leading the attack. 

Steve Coppell also preferred to stick to most of the names that played against Bengaluru last week, as Bikash Jairu came into the starting XI replacing Sumeet Passi. Veteran goalkeeper Subrata Paul started with Tiri and Andrey Bikey in front of him. Memo and Wellington Priori started in midfield along with Jairu and Jerry in their wide roles. Farukh Choudhary and Izu Azuka shouldered the attacking responsibilities. 

Jamshedpur started the game with composure and discipline as they looked focused on their job at hand. They were winning the aerial battles and claiming the second balls with ease and thereby not allowing Goa to settle down. The first chance of the game also fell for Jamshedpur when Azuka managed to get his header on target from a long free-kick delivered by Priori. 

A brain-fade moment from Paul saw the goalkeeper receive direct marching orders and Jamshedpur was down to ten men as early as the seventh minute. Corominas was released by a long ball from midfield and the Spaniard had Tiri closing him down. But, Paul decided to take matters into his own hands and came out from his line and handed the ball outside the box which was rightly deemed as a red card offence by the referee. 

SUbrata Paul red FC Goa vs jamshedpur

Even with 10 men, Jamshedpur held their ground quite well as Memo and Priori were dictating terms in midfield. The much vaunted attacking line of Goa was finding it difficult to open up a compact and disciplined backline led by Tiri. 

But Goa slowly started to claw back into the game with Lanzarote and Boumous seeing more of the ball. Bikey had almost gifted an own goal to Goa when there was a miscommunication between him and Sanjiban, with Coro putting pressure on the two defenders. 

With Goa on the ascendency, the deadlock was finally broken just under the half-hour mark when Coro pierced the net with a simple tap-in finish after Lanzarote threaded a perfectly measured through ball for Seriton.  The right wing back then squared a pass to Coro who put Goa 1-0 up with an easy finish. 

Tempers flared at the furnace when a fight broke out among the players after Jahouh was fouled by Jerry. Jamshedpur tried to regroup but Goa with an extra man on the field was in complete control as the two teams headed for the tunnel after the first-half. 

FC Goa vs Jamshedpur fight among players

Within five minutes of resumption, Goa doubled their advantage over Jamshedpur when Coro produced a world-class finish to find the back of the net after he latched on to a long ball by Lanzarote. A sublime first touch by Coro helped him control the high ball and then the leading goal scorer rifled in a shot in the blink of an eye to take the game away from Jamshedpur. 

FC goa Corominas/ Coro

Steve Coppell tried to make amends by bringing on Trindade and Belfort to provide more teeth in attacking third. But any hope of a comeback was put to bed when Lanzarote scored the third in the 69th minute. It was an example of a perfect team goal as Desai and Coro were the two primary architects of the move which opened up Jamshedpur. After Coro was fed by Desai, the forward dribbled past a defender to set up Lanzarote who calmly slotted it past Ghosh. 

It was deja vu time for the spectators in Jamshedpur as Naveen got sent off for the same offence which saw Paul getting a red. Belfort was chasing a long ball and before the Haitian could get to it, Naveen seemed to panic and handed the ball outside his territory. 

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Priori sent the crowd to their feet when he swivelled and volleyed home with gusto but the linesman had already raised the flag for offside. jamshedpur continued to search for a consolation goal but Priori's shot on goal was comfortably smothered by substitute keeper Laxmikant Kattimani.

Jamshedpur bowed out of Indian Super League 2017-18 with 26 points from 18 matches whereas Sergio Lobera will now lead his men against Chennaiyin on March 9 in the first leg of the semi-final against Chennaiyin FC.


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