Bloody hell. We actually had a half-decent game. For all of the slagging off of ISL teams that has been done in this tournament, it’s quite ironic that it was a game between two ISL sides that perhaps produced the game of the round so far. Credit it where it’s due, both teams put out strong starting lineups and that in turn meant it was a better game than some of the dross we’ve seen so far.
No Surprises Here
If you’re not on the same page yet, I am, of course, referring to FC Goa’s win over ATK yesterday. Considering the gulf in class between Goa and ATK in the league this season, it’s no real surprise that FC Goa beat Robbie Keane’s ATK. Nonetheless, had ATK done the basics properly, we could have been talking about a very different outcome, saying that, that has pretty much been the case all season for the Kolkata based side.
In terms of the game itself, the first big opportunity fell to ATK’s player-manager Robbie Keane and if the goal had been a tad bigger, it would’ve gone under the crossbar, instead, it came back off the woodwork and the chance had been and gone, just like that.
Before the interval, the one man on the Goa team you wouldn’t want the ball falling to (from an ATK perspective) in the penalty area was afforded far too much room. A perfectly weighted through ball from Edu Bedia meant that Coro had all the time in the world. Hell, he could’ve started making a brew if he wanted to. Soram Anganba could only stand and watch as Coro’s shot went in. 1-0 to FC Goa.
Why Would You Give Keane That Amount Of The Room?
After the break, it was FC Goa’s turn not to bother marking as a corner, with help of a flick on, made its way to the back post where Robbie Keane was lying in wait. I’m not sure what is more stupid, giving the ISL 2017’s top goalscorer bags of room or giving the same to the Republic of Ireland’s leading goalscorer. Anyway, that’s what we were dealing with.
I’m not sure why I am surprised, mind, FC Goa’s defence only leaked two fewer goals that ATK’s. Keane scored and celebrated rather mutely if you ask me, there was no cartwheel which suggests one of two things. 1) He’s leaving India or 2) He’s joining FC Goa as he always makes a point of not celebrating against past sides, maybe he’s not wanting to do it against a future side, either?
Enough of the conspiracy theories. For now. FC Goa turned it up a gear after Keane equalised and another wonderful pass, this time for Coro equalled goal number two for Lobera’s side. Coro played in Hugo Boumous who remained as cool as a cucumber and finished to put them back in the driving seat. 2-1.
Coro Was His Usual Magic Self
Coro had a hand in all three of Goa’s goals. What a guy. With the last one, he simply touched it to Brandon who curled it in the bottom corner. At least Aganba moved for this one, progress. So, that’s how this tale ends, FC Goa go marching on to the last eight and ATK are left to lick their wounds.
Robbie Keane was interviewed in quite a lot of depth after the game which suggests to me that it might’ve been the last we’ve seen of him in India. I might be wrong; you be the judge…
“For me, it is not the right time to speak about my future, at this moment.”
Ok, not the best of starts, although, that doesn’t tell us much. His wording in this next bit suggests that he won’t be managing, yet.
“I have enjoyed it. It has been a good experience. It is something (managing) I want to do in the future. I have made no secret of that in the last few years.”
The Word Future Features Five Time
The keyword for me there is future. Yes, you could argue that the future is tomorrow, on the other hand, I don’t really think Robbie was referring to the short-term. Again, this bit…
“I will sit down and see what I wanna do for the next year and the next couple of years. Certainly, in the next few years and into the future, I want to be a manager. I’ve done my coaching badges and I am excited about the future.”
Next few years, not next year. He’s not being a gaffer, we can be certain of that. He’s signing for Goa, I’m telling ya! Just to add more fuel to my fire, he then said this about Goa;
“We finished ninth in the league, need to understand that. We’re never the favourites. We were optimistic of course and wanted to win the cup. At the end of the day, sometimes you have to hold your hands up. We got beat by a better team,”
Aye, he’s right, they did. I’m looking beyond the probable fact that he’s just paying them a compliment and seeing a come and get me plea to Lobera. Keane, Coro, Lanzarote. Wow. Keane closed with this, the ending, in particular, suggests he’s off…
“I just wish we were playing in front of thousands and thousands of fans. Need to have a look at that really with most stadiums. The only full house we played this season was against Kerala (Blasters). The rest were nearly empty. I understand the Indian culture that when you are winning, people come to watch the games, when you lose, they don’t.
“That is just one example. There are a lot of things that they can do if they want to take themselves seriously and look forward and try and create that. There is some good stuff, of course, some good players coming through. I certainly wish them luck in the future.”
Wish them luck in the future. Come on Robert, me old China, give us an exclusive and I’ll forgive you for joining Villa. Seems fair? We can live in hope, after all, if you haven’t got hope then what have you got?
That’s all for today, I’ll be back with the Pune report tomorrow.
Over and out.