On a tense night of Indian Super League football, a dominant FC Goa managed to bag all 3 points with a 3-1 victory over Odisha FC. Goals by Alberto Noguera, Jorge Ortiz and Ivan Gonzalez sent FC Goa back into the top-four with a playoff berth in their sights for upcoming games. This is the first time they have managed to bag all three points since the 14th of Jan. For Odisha FC Diego Mauricio managed to score their only consolation goal of the night.
Both teams deployed a strong side, with their sights set on attacking football. Goa deployed a 4-3-3 formation, Odisha opted for a 4-4-2 with Inman moving into the midfield. Odisha changed to a defensive 5 occasionally during the game which when they did limited their attack.
FC Goa started the game at a high tempo and they created several chances within the first 10 minutes of the game. Odisha struggled to cope with Goa’s high-pressing game early on. Odisha tried to see them off by sitting back defensively in their own half. This dominance led to the opening goal of the game from Goa in the 15th minute. Ivan Gonzalez’s superb cross into the box was headed home by Alberto Noguera to make it 1-0 for Goa.
Meanwhile, Odisha’s first major attempt on goal came through striker Diego Mauricio who tried a long shot at goal which was easily turned away by goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh. Shortly after, Goa scored to make it 2-0 after a quick counter from their own half following a corner. Jorge Ortiz sprinted towards the goal and chipped the ball over the shot-stopper to double Goa’s lead.
Before, Goa could feel comfortable with their lead Diego Mauricio scored for Odisha in 30th minute. Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh made a mess of things out in front of his own box and the ball fell for Brazilian Mauricio to simply tap it in to make it 2-1. First half action continued to revolve around Goa despite Alberto Noguera displaying signs of an injury later on in the half.
The second half started with Odisha bringing on young talent Jerry Mawihmingthanga to replace Rakesh Pradhan. Odisha had the first effort on goal in the second half through Manuel Onwu which was comfortably saved by the Goan goalkeeper. Diego Mauricio got another chance to equalise for Odisha in the 60th minute but failed to convert, as Goa committed more bodies into their box.
Odisha had a higher press than the first half as they tried to get more balls into the Goan box. This opened up space for a much more organised Goan side to counter in breaks. Jorge Ortiz’s cross from the left found Ivan Gonzalez whose effort was initially saved by the keeper but was turned in by Gonzalez at his second attempt. Odisha failed to press on with any significant attacking moves in the latter half of the game, with Goa continuing to create the greater chances.
Goa now climb up to fourth position after the win with 27 points from 18 matches. For Odisha, it is yet another disappointing performance in what is proving to be a horrendous season and they stay bottom of the table. They have 9 points from 18 matches so far.
FC Goa will next face Bengaluru FC on 2oth February; Odisha FC welcome Mumbai City FC on 24th of February.