FC Goa get first win of Super Cup thanks to late Iker Guarrotxena winner

FC Goa recorded their first win of the 2023 Hero Super Cup as their star forward duo of Noah Sadaoui and Iker Guarrotxena combined to give the Gaurs all three points with a goal in the late stages of the match.

The Gaurs finished with 19 shots on goal but had to wait till the end to get their coveted three points.

Noah looked set to seal the late win when he broke behind Gokulam’s backline but saw his effort being saved by Shibin Raj. The rebound fell kindly for the opportunistic Iker Guarrotxena, who slotted in his 13th strike of the season from close range before the team joined in celebrations with Brandon Fernandes’ shirt with the captain missing his action due to personal reasons.  

Dull first period

The match promised much in the opening minutes after Fares Arnaout rose the highest in the eighth minute but saw his header from a corner crash off the frame of the goal and rebound to safety. A few minutes later, Iker Guarrotxena extended his muscles to the furthest but failed to make the telling touch. 

The afternoon heat seemed to have had a big impact on both sides as the game wore on. Neither team was able to find any sort of rhythm in the first period as it finished without a shot on target being recorded.

The second, half though started on a completely different tune with both keepers being called into action early on.

FC Goa and Gokulam Kerala players in action during in Hero Super Cup

Game comes to life in the second half

The 49th minute saw Shibin Raj in the Gokulam goal become the hero for the home side. The keeper made a double save as he clawed away Makan Chothe’s shot from close distance before stretching low to his left to deny Saviour Gama the opener.

A few minutes later, it was Gokulam on the charge as Sourav K found space down the left flank. The forward showed off his pace to get one-on-one with the onrushing Arshdeep Singh, but failed to keep his composure – toe-poking his attempt wide of the mark. 

As the game became more end-to-end, both sides had opportunities to win it. Gokulam saw Sergio Mendigutxia miss their best opportunity as Arshdeep Singh thwarted a one-on-one situation. Meanwhile, the former I-League champions saw a goal disallowed for a foul.

And just when it looked like the points were set to be shared, the FC Goa duo pounced on arguably the last clear opportunity to clinch three vital points which keeps them in the hunt for qualification irrespective of the result of today’s clash between Jamshedpur and ATK Mohun Bagan in the late kick-off.

The Gaurs will take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their final group game of the Super Cup on April 18.

FC Goa and Salgaocar players in action during the RFDL

FC Goa stay undefeated in the Reliance Foundation Development League

The young Gaurs had to rely on another late strike – this time in their game in the Goa leg of the Reliance Foundation Development League – to keep their unbeaten run going. 

The boys in Orage fell behind to Salgaocar SC owing to a first strike by Sidney Gauncar but restricted the Greens to a share of the spoils. Laitonjam Lemba Singh was the man to the rescue for FC Goa with his strike in the 87th minute. 

FC Goa remain on top of the Goa leg, with 5 wins and 1 draw from their 6 games so far, comfortably ahead of Velsao in second place.

Also Read: Jamshedpur, ATK Mohun Bagan gear up for top billing encounter in Group C

Also Read: Bengaluru’s Udanta out for redemption in Hero Super Cup

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