FC Goa booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Super Cup after a comfortable 3-0 victory over I-League side Indian Arrows at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Goa were on the front foot from the get-go, dominating possession in the middle of the park and pulling the strings. The likes of Zaid Krouch, Hugo Boumous and Jackichand Singh were causing problems for the Arrows defence with their pace and trickery.
Krouch won a penalty for Goa inside the opening twenty minutes when his attempted volley was handled inside the box. Corominas stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slotted the ball into the net, past Prabhusukhan Gill in goal.
Despite conceding early on, Floyd Pinto’s side seemed unfazed with the goal and stuck in throughout the half. They nearly got the leveller towards the end of the first period when Narender got on the end of a free-kick from Anwar Ali. However, the defender’s close-range header was directed straight at the goalkeeper.
With half-time looming, Goa really should have doubled their lead when they created two goal-worthy chances. First up, Jackichand got on the end of a pin-point cross from Krouch, but his resulting header was well off the mark. A minute later, Lenny Rodrigues got on the end of a clever cut-back from Krouch again. This time, the Indian midfielder took a first-time shot which narrowly went over the top corner.
However, it wasn’t long before Goa finally got their second of the night. Towards the hour mark, Bedia picked up the ball near the halfway line. The Spaniard found Corominas in space, who took one touch before releasing a brilliant through ball for Boumous. The Moroccan raced through on goal, skipped past the goalkeeper, before comfortably slotting the ball into the empty net.
A two-goal deficit was always going to be hard for the Arrows to overcome, despite the best efforts of Boris Singh and Amarjit Singh. With 10 minutes to go, Goa scored their third and final goal. A dangerous cross from substitute Brandon Fernandes was misread by Tangri as the ball struck his shin before creeping into the net. In the end, Goa comfortably sealed the victory and thus earned a spot in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
“I’m very happy. We did a great game against a very tough team,” Goa coach Sergio Lobera said after the match. “We were able to prove and explain the kind of football we like to play. We generated a lot of chances. I’m very happy for the performance of the team. I think it is a great team with great players and a great coach. They are doing a fantastic job.”
The Spaniard was once again asked about the prolific Corominas. “Corominas is a very important player for us but to perform on the pitch, you need your teammates and the whole team behind you. I think every time we have done good performances, its because all the team has done a great job,” he said.
Arrows head coach Floyd Pinto had his say the positives from the season. “The positives are, taking the whole season into consideration, the way the team has improved, the way the team has evolved and the way the team has developed and got the results towards the second half of the season is the positives,” he said.
“We have always been very straightforward and upfront with our performances, and I think all the players and the staff were very disappointed with the first half today. It wasn’t an Arrows performance. We increased the intensity, we had that focus in the second half, but we conceded the goal.”