ISL 3: FC Goa lose in Injury time, Play-off hopes almost over
An injury time strike by Stephen Pearson ensured that Atletico de Kolkata ward off FC Goa’s late flurry in the second half, taking a 2-1 win at the Fatorda
Earlier Balencoso’s header had put the visitors up on top in the first half before Mandar rao’s 25 yard strike late in the second half had put Goa back in to the game. Going for that elusive winning goal which would have kept the home side very much in the Top 4 race, Goa conceded in the third minute of the injury time to lose the game with Play-offs chances almost gone.
FC Goa started with three changes in Jofre, Matheus Trindade and Rafael Dumas coming back into the starting eleven. For the visitors, Tiri, Robert and Ruidas came in for Sereno, Keegan Pereira and injured Lalrindika Ralte.
The proceedings started with visitors looking better on the ball with repeated attacking forays. In the 7th minute, Kattimani pulled off a top save off a Javi Lara’s strike from inside the box. Four minutes later, Lara was once again denied by an alert and impressive Kattimani.
However, at the half hour mark Kattimani was finally beaten when Ruidas’s cross inside the box found Balencoso free to head down the ball past the keeper.
For the host, Jofre and Romeo looked threatening but couldn’t convert their chances to goals. Postiga almost doubled the lead when his header came off the bar as Kolkata went in to the break with just a one goal lead.
Second half began with Goa looking to turn the tide and almost did it when Mandar’s cross into the box was almost put into his own net by Robert only for the post to come to the rescue. At the other end, Postiga failed to double the lead as his shot with just keeper to beat was parried away by the Goan Custodian.
With Kolkata once again looking to get foothold of game, Zico introduced Robin Singh and Raju to stir things up. The Indian striker had an early chance to equalize but his header off Trindade’s cross was straight at Debjit.
Goa began pressing hard and finally leveled the scores when Mandar’s strike from outside the box slid through the legs of Kotal, past the keeper, to bottom right corner. The equalizer boosted the goan’s confidence as they went for an all out attack.
But Atletico defence held on well and played on counter. Minutes before the end of normal time, one of the ATK counter attack resulted in Pearson’s shot being saved by Kattimani. Soon ATK had another chance in a 3 on 1 situation but Doutie instead of going for a pass went for a glory from a tight angle as the ball came of the crossbar.
However, minutes later Doutie made amends to his mistake when in another similar situation he cut back the ball for pearson who slid the ball through the legs of onrushing Kattimani to break Goan hearts.
FC Goa 1 (Mandar 80’) – 2 Atletico de Kolkata (Balencoso 28’, Pearson 90+3)