Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1, take first win of the season

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Margao (Goa), Dec 6 A brace from Igor Angulo, with the second goal coming in stoppage time from a blunder by Kerala Blasters goalkeeper, and a solitary goal from Jorge Mendoza helped FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday.

Vincente Gomez scored for Kerala just before Angulo ended any hopes they got of getting something from the match. FC Goa have thus secured their first win of the season.

Goa coach Juan Ferrando made two changes to the side that was held by NorthEast United as James Donachie and Alexander Jesuraj were included. Nishu Kumar, Gomez and Nongdamba Naorem returned to the starting eleven for Kerala.

The first big chance for the 2019/20 ISL Shield winners arrived early in the 10th minute when Mendonza beat Nishu to take control of a long ball and fired a shot from outside the box, only to see his effort hit the crossbar.

The home side came close to grabbing the lead once again seven minutes later, only to be denied by the post. A miscued pass from Rohit Kumar put Angulo through on goal. The striker, with only the keeper to beat, attempted to curl his shot into the bottom corner but it struck the far post.

However, Angulo soon made up for the missed opportunity around the half-hour mark as he put Goa ahead. Gama flicked the ball towards Angulo in the box and the striker delightfully dinked it over Kerala goalkeeper Albino Gomes to bag his fourth goal of the season.

Goa returned hungrier after the break and continued to pile on the pressure. Their efforts soon bore fruit as they doubled their lead through Mendoza. The forward received the ball outside the box and traded a lovely one-two with Brandon Fernandes before burying his shot into the far corner.

Kerala pushed hard in search of a goal and came close in the 67th minute. Gomez won the ball inside the box but saw his shot rattle the underside of the crossbar.

Kibu Vicuna’s side threatened on quite a few occasions but were unable to find the back of the net. When a goal did arrive for them, the contest had already been settled in Goa’s favour. Nishu whipped a cross for Gomez, whose header snuck into goal after brushing the underside of the crossbar.

Kerala captain Costa Nhamoinesu was given his marching orders late on during injury time after being shown a second yellow card, following a rash tackle on Princeton Rebello. Seconds later, Gomes grabbed the ball and rolled it ahead in a bid to kick it long but was unaware of Angulo nearby. The Spaniard took the ball and passed it into the empty net.

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