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ISL 2018-19: Brilliant Jamshedpur FC beat FC Goa at their own game

4:04 PM SGT 2/11/18
Jamshedpur FC Goa ISL
The tables turned for Sergio Lobera and team in Jamshedpur on Thursday...

With the Indian Super League (ISL) more than a month old now, FC Goa undoubtedly have been the most enterprising team, at least in an attacking point of view.

Having scored 14 goals in five games prior to Thursday's clash at Jamshedpur, Goa were the red-hot favourites to come away with three points from the encounter despite the fact that they did not have the services of the prolific Ferran Corominas. 

What transpired, however, was a brilliant display of purposeful football from Cesar Ferrando's men that saw the come out with a 4-1 win. 

Pune City had tried to take the game to FC Goa in their last game and ended up troubling a frail Gaurs' defence. But their own problems at the back coupled with Goa's insane attacking arsenal saw them ship four goals and lose the match 4-2. 

Jamshedpur also followed a similar approach but pressed with more unison and reaped the rewards. Moreover, they were better organised at the back with an experienced defender like Tiri marshalling the lines. Probably, the absence of Coro helped them. But there is no taking away credit from the Jamshedpur defence. 

The game, however, was won in midfield. FC Goa's midfielders, every one of them, love being on the ball. And they have enjoyed the lion's share of possession in all the games so far. But here, they were outdone by their counterparts and could only shade the possession (51 per cent). Memo and Mario Arques were exemplary in their holding roles while Sergio Cidoncha was a livewire in advanced positions. 

There might have been a hint of fortune about Michael Soosairaj's first goal but the second was a brilliant finish. Only after going behind did Goa start to attack more and saw the ball more. 

But Jamshedpur snuffed any hopes Goa might have had in exactly the same way the Gaurs knockout their opponents - quick goals on the counter in the space of a very few minutes, like Mumbai City would testify. Memo and Sumeet Passi's goals came a minute apart and sealed the result. 

Sergio Lobera has always insisted that he likes his team to outscore the opponents than keep clean sheets. While his team's strengths justify his approach, he will be slightly concerned by this loss. Goa had started frighteningly last season as well before defensive frailties began to show and almost derailed their campaign. Only a late surge saw them qualify for the play-offs.  

The return of Coro could very well ensure Thursday night as just a blip for the Gaurs. For such is the verve with which they have been playing. But Lobera should be worried by the fact that other teams might just take a leaf out of Cesar Ferrando's book and make things difficult for them.