A fiery Indian Super League match between FC Goa and FC Pune City which ended with both teams having a man sent off, finished 4-2 in favour of the home side at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao on Sunday.
The influential Coro, who was later sent off for Goa, bagged a brace with Jackichand Singh and Hugo Boumous bagging the other goals for the home team. Emiliano Alfaro, who missed a penalty, and Marcelinho scored Pune City’s goals. Diego Carlos was shown a straight red for his horrible challenge on Goa’s Seriton Fernandes.
Goa started with the same line-up that thrashed Mumbai 5-0 as Coro lined up top, supported by Hugo Boumous, Jackichand Singh, Edu Bedia and Mandar Rao Dessai. Pune, playing for the first time since Miguel Angel Portugal was sacked, went for five changes under interim coach Pradyum Reddy.
It was Coro who got Goa underway with a goal in the fifth minute. He brought down Ahmed Jahouh’s raking pass, ran into the box and finished off the chance for his fifth goal of the season, level with league leader Bartholomew Ogbeche.
Marcelinho hit back for Pune almost immediately as he lobbed Mohammed Nawaz in the Goa goal. Hugo Boumous restored the home side’s lead with a precise header off a Coro cross from the right.
The Spanish striker got his second assist of the night when he darted clear of the defence and unselfishly squared to Jackichand Singh who had the easiest of tap-ins. It was Emiliano Alfaro who brought Pune back into the match, beating Nawaz at his near post to make it 3-2 after 22 minutes.
Jackichand Singh ran to the touchline, passed it to Coro who saw his first shot blocked but then put away the rebound for his sixth goal of the season to restore Goa’s advantage.
Pune were handed a lifeline after half-time as Nawaz’s pass put Chinglensana Singh under pressure. As Alfaro stole the ball from the Manipuri defender, he was brought down in the box and referee Pranjal Banerjee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Alfaro’s penalty was drilled to Nawaz’s right but the 18-year-old saved the shot to keep Goa’s two-goal lead intact. Substitute Diego Carlos was then sent off for Pune City for his deliberate stamp on Seriton Fernandes’ knee.
Goa will also be without the services of Coro for at least the next two matches as he was shown a direct red for a studs-up challenge on Marko Stankovic.
The match ended 4-2 with Goa now having scored 14 goals in their four games to climb to the top of the table.
Pune have now lost three consecutive matches and are bottom of the table with one point from their four matches.