FC Goa got back to winning ways after six matches with a facile 3-1 win over Odisha FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Wednesday.
With play-offs contenders Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United winning their respective last matches, it was important for Juan Ferrando's side to get a win in this match. Unlike their last few matches where they had to stage dramatic comebacks to avoid defeat, against Odisha the Gaurs went for the kill right from off and looked ferocious in their approach.
With two quick goals in the first half, the Gaurs looked comfortable but Diego Mauricio's opportunistic strike just before the break raised some concerns. Thereafter Odisha matched them toe-to-toe and could have restored parity in the game but the Goa defenders and Dheeraj Singh made sure the scoreline remained unchanged.
Both Ivan Gonzalez and Alberto Noguera had a terrific outing against the Kalinga Warriors. Along with some solid defending in the backline, Gonzalez was also instrumental in two out of Goa's three goals. Noguera's first goal had come from the central defender's cross while Gonzalez himself scored the third goal to seal the fate of the game. In fact, the Spanish defender could have had a brace to his name if his header had not hit the crossbar in the 82nd minute.
Noguera was very influential in the midfield. Beside posing constant threats in the opposition's penalty box, the Spaniard was dictating the game from midfield and was seen creating chances for the other attackers. Thanks to Noguera's performance, skipper Edu Bedia's absence was not felt by the Gaurs.
Goa need to maintain this momentum and approach their remaining matches with the same gusto as they exhibited against Odisha if they want to make it to the play-offs at the end of the season.
Odisha's miseries seem to be never-ending and they would hope that the ongoing season ends as soon as possible. The only thing they can now try and avoid is to finish the league with single-digit points.