ISL 2017: Goa Get Lucky

FC Goa

FC Goa won for the first time in 2018 as they extended Jamshedpur’s winless streak to three in a game that will sadly not be remembered for Lanzarote’s magnificent second goal due to some terrible officiating. Now, the officials haven’t been up to scratch all season, on the whole, the difference this time around is that it had a direct impact on the outcome of the game. Let’s get our teeth into it.

The home side went back to full strength after resting some players in the defeat against NorthEast as the likes of Edu Bedia came back into the starting XI which immediately gave them a balance in the middle of the park as he lined up next to the imperious Ahmed Jahouh. Coppell did as you would expect and brought Bikey back in to solidify the defence after they leaked two goals in a game for the first time this season last time out.

Now, there were a few chances prior to Goa going one up, but I’m taking it from there as there is more than enough to write about because what went on was not far from outrageous. Not too long prior to halftime Brandon Fernandes broke into the box but before he had the chance to pull the trigger he was prevented by a marvellous tackle from Andre Bikey. Well, apparently the referee thought he was stopped illegally and pointed to the spot, in the defence of the referee, he wasn’t in the best position to see it but surely he should have seen the direction of the ball change? Obviously not. One man who had an excellent view of it was the linesman but it was almost as if he was scared to mention it to the referee and the decision mind-blowingly stood.

Lanzarote was tasked with the penalty after the referee had settled all the backlash down which ended up with Paul in the Jamshedpur goal being booked and several players being warned as well. He stepped up, put it to the keeper’s right and scored. The referee then decided he would have to retake it, I’m not sure why, the only reason I could make out was that the keeper slightly came off his line but it went in so I didn’t see the point. Nevertheless, he made Lanzarote take it again, he went the same way, it went in and that was that. 1-0 at the break.

Jamshedpur got back into the game less than ten minutes into the second half as they won a free kick on the left-hand side. From the set piece, nothing really happened until the ball broke out to the opposite wing and Jerry put a ball into the box where Azura and Goncalves were left with all the time in the world and not a defender in sight. The Brazilian, Goncalves, got to the ball first and headed it beyond Kattimani to level the scores.

Immediately after, Jamshedpur almost completed the turnaround as they were frantically banging on the Goa door. Siddharth had a good opportunity but he took the wrong option as he tried to beat Kattimani at his near post and hit it wide. From the position he was in, you have to go across the keeper. Decisive.

Another Goal, Another Mistake

The topsy-turvy game went back in favour of FC Goa not too long after as Lanzarote hit one directly at the keeper and Coro had an effort which went just past the post. Moments after that Coro attempt went wide, Brandon Fernandes, the man who won the questionable penalty, played a through ball to Lanzarote who still had a lot to do. Now, when Lanzarote picked the ball up, you could tell he was offside because he was a couple of yards beyond Jamshedpur’s last man but yet again, the standard of officiating let the game down.

Tiri managed to get back to jockey Lanzarote but Manuel made his fellow Spaniard look stupid with a turn that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Billy Elliot and he then put it past Paul with an exceptional finish. It’s such a shame that he was offside because that will be something that will always taint the goal; whenever people go “Did you see Lanzarote’s second?” the response will be “yeah, but it was offside”. Such is life.

Jamshedpur conceded two more goals to take them up to six conceded for the season which is still the best by three, but Coppell will know deep down that it still only be four because neither of Goa’s goals should have stood. Jamshedpur remain seventh, six points off the playoffs whilst Goa leapfrog Mumbai into the last playoff position and two points off the top.

FC Goa: Kattimani, S.Fernandes, Pinheiro, Ali, Das, Jahouh, Bedia, B.Fernandes (Manvir, 80), Lanzarote (Juste, 85), Desai, Coro (Halder, 90+2). Goals: Lanzarote (45+1 (pen), 59).

Jamshedpur: Paul, Chakrabarti, Bikey, Tiri, Ghosh (Choudhary, 65), Goncalves (Belfort, 65), Memo, Siddharth (Biswas, 73), Jerry, Jairu, Azuka. Goal: Goncalves (54).

Press conferences…

Lobera opened his press conference in a frank manner:

“I think today has been a game where we suffered quite a bit, but for teams who know how to win need to know how to suffer. Today, as a team, we learned how to suffer against a team who are very hard to play against.”

He continued along the same tangent with a scathing assessment of his defence:

“Today as well we conceded a goal when a player crossed into the box, there were two players who were open and one puts it at the back of the net. We have to improve defensively.”

The Spaniard believed it was a penalty:

“When it’s a penalty and it’s obvious, it’s not luck.”

I think you might be on your own there, Sergio. However, he did finish with a very valid point:

“I’m pleased with the fact we have scored against a team who have kept five clean sheets. It’s not easy to score two goals against this team.”

Coppell was rightly peeved about the two Goa goals:

“When the penalty was given I didn’t have a great view. I thought we may be jostled in. Andre-Bikey clearly makes contact with the ball and it should have been a corner. The second goal was a good piece of finishing. The question mark was maybe about an offside.”

Despite the defeat, Coppell was upbeat about Jamshedpur’s chances:

“They (FC Goa) are a good side with some exceptional individuals. When looking at our team we continue to play with the desire. I think we’ll be alright.”

He was also very complimentary about Lanzarote, completely disregarding the controversy surrounding his goals:

“Lanzarote is a terrific player. You look at his goal record. You look at his creation records.”

The ex-Reading man ended by indicating what they’re aiming for:

“We are looking forward to trying and winning each and every game. The ultimate challenge for us is to win at home.”

About the Author

Jake Flock
Football and writing are my two biggest passions, so seems right to combine the pair, don't you think?