Firstly, I’d like to apologise because I’m a little bit late with this; I’m not going to bore you with the details so we’ll get stuck right into the action. Goa had the chance to close the gap to fourth to only three points, however, a combination of wasteful finishing and fantastic goalkeeping meant that they had to settle for a point against Delhi. Delhi held their own in a game which has no meaning for them at all so great credit must go to Miguel Portugal for the way his team conducted themselves. Sergio Lobera, on the other hand, will be kicking himself as the games are now running out for Goa and it now means that they’ve gone five games without a win at exactly the wrong time.
Goa Had To Win
Pre-game, Goa knew they needed to win this and it wasn’t for a want of trying that they didn’t – the first opportunity fell to Brandon Fernandes, although it was a chance that was from outside the box, it was still close to Xabi Irureta’s goal, just off target. One attempt down, one miss. Some slack defending down the other end nearly gifted Delhi with a goal, luckily for Narayan Das, Kumar was fast enough off his line and just about tidied up his mess, it was Romeo who was nearly the fortunate one. Hugo Boumous, who was playing instead of the suspended Lanzarote, drove down the right in the next instance and gave Mandar Desai a chance, yet again though, Irureta was equal to it.
Finally, in the first half, it was Romeo again causing havoc for Goa’s back line as he glided down the right and into the penalty area, his ball into the box missed everyone though as Uche was busting a gut to get there, it just wasn’t meant to be. To show how wayward the home side were in the first half, they had TEN shots, yet only three of them hit the target and considering that at the beginning of the season their attack was so deadly, you’d think they’d have done better than that. Goa also completed 100 more passes than Delhi, which will give you some sort of indication at how dominant they actually were in the first half.
Goa Looked Like Winning
After the break, it was a lot busier and the first big chance of the half yielded the first goal. Boumous, the ex-Laval man, pushed forward again, very similar to how he did in the first period and instead of laying it off like he did earlier in the game, he went for goal himself. Luckily for Boumous, it took a massive deflection off Cichero which completely wrong footed Irureta and gave Goa the lead; and at that moment in time, they were three points behind fourth placed Jamshedpur with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
They could have and perhaps should have improved their goal difference with the chances that followed and Coro should’ve added to his tally. The first chance he couldn’t quite reach the ball as it was played slightly in front of him and the second one was a mistake of his own. Like Romeo in the first half, Coro ran with the ball and then ran some more but he left it too long and ended up playing the ball across the face of the goal, despite the fact he knew no-one was there. What he should have done was play it on his left and bend it in the bottom corner; you see my career is wasted as a writer, I should be pinging them in, in the ISL. One day, maybe.
Delhi got back into the game and the pair of Chhangte and Uche were causing Goa some headaches as some smart interplay between the two saw Chhangte one on one with the keeper and like Coro before him, he wasted his chance. He at least had a shot, but it went into the side netting; rule #435 of the striker’s hand book says always go across the keeper, so a mark has now gone against Chhangte’s name. Fortunately for the Indian, he redeemed himself not too soon after as he turned into the provider of the pair as he squared to Uche who really couldn’t miss.
Goa Looked Like Dropping Points
That put Uche on eight for the season and also marked the NINETEENTH game in a row where Goa have failed to keep a clean sheet. Maybe that might be the problem, y’know? It’s all well and good scoring thirty goals in a season, but, when you concede twenty-seven, which is the second highest in the league, that is a problem. The only issue is, that it may well end up being too late for Lobera’s side to fix it.
Sifneos was brought off the bench as Lobera reacted to Delhi scoring by putting seven up top, or he may well have done. Boumous was pulling the strings again as he played in Brandon but instead of squaring it to Sifneos who was in acres of space, he went for glory himself, fluffed his lines and it went out for a goal kick. Unsurprisingly, Brandon was taken off not too long after that and Coro had one last chance to finish and give Goa the valuable three points. About ten yards out, he blasted it and it would have gone in but for a wonderful save from Arnab, who came on for Irureta. He got two hands to it and it was struck with some venom so I doth my cap to you Arnab, fantastic save at a crucial time.
Goa Did Drop Points
That save from Arnab was the last action of the game as Goa got booed off which shocked me. It also made me quite happy in a weird way as well, maybe we will have some pitch invasions come the end of the season. Just what the doctor ordered.
Until the next time.