A second successive win helped FC Goa climb to fourth on the Indian Super League Season 7 table as they beat a gritty Odisha FC 1-0 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Saturday.
Igor Angulo (45+1’) netted the winner to help Juan Ferrando’s side register another victory.
Arshdeep Singh shone for Odisha between the sticks but their inefficiency upfront meant Stuart Baxter’s side remained winless in the competition.
Vinit Rai was handed his first start of the season as Odisha made four changes to their line-up. Ferrando rang in just one change as Alberto Noguera replaced Edu Bedia. Goa outplayed their opponents in the first half and headed into the break with a one-goal lead, Angulo scoring in injury time.
The Gaurs dominated proceedings from the start while Odisha decided to stay compact and absorb the pressure.
Jorge Ortiz Mendoza, a constant threat on the left flank, had an opportunity to give Goa the lead during the 16th minute. Brandon Fernandes won the ball and threaded a pass for Ortiz on the left. The forward cut inside into acres of space but dragged his shot wide.
However, despite dominating possession, the Gaurs failed to penetrate the Odisha defence, who kept things tight at the back.
Odisha, too applied pressure on Goa’s backline towards the end of the first half, mainly through Diego Mauricio but Goa’s backline did well to thwart the danger.
Goa’s perseverance finally paid off towards the end of the first half with Angulo getting himself on the scoresheet again. Romario beat his marker on the left and found the Spaniard in the box, who created space to fool Jacob Tratt before drilling his shot into the bottom left-handed corner.
The second half got off to an interesting start with both sides showing intent.
Odisha pushed hard for an equaliser and nearly came close just before the hour mark. After a counter-attack, the ball fell to Cole Alexander, at the edge of the box. The midfielder, however, fired his shot wide.
The Gaurs fashioned two clear-cut opportunities during the 64th minute but Arshdeep produced a stunning double save to keep his side in the game.
The Odisha custodian first blocked a shot from Angulo with his leg. The ball was eventually cleared and fell to Princeton Rebello. The substitute found Mendoza outside the box but the latter was denied as Arshdeep dived full stretch.
The Odisha FC keeper produced another double save during the dying minutes of the game, denying both Mendoza and Len Doungel.
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