Goa makes a big leap with a stunning 3-0 victory against ATK Mohun Bagan

Goa proved to be too strong for ATK Mohun Bagan

Goa returned to winning ways in style, as in their sixth match of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season, they handed ATK Mohun Bagan a 3-0 defeat at their home ground, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Aibanbha Dohling, Fares Arnaout, and Noah Sadaoui were the scorers for the Gaurs.

After a 1-3 defeat against Kerala Blasters, Goa head coach Carlos Pena made two changes to his starting XI. Marc Valiente returned to defense at the expense of Saviour Gama, whereas to maintain overseas count, Sadaoui was sacrificed for Brandon Fernandes.

On the other hand, known for believing in stability, ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando opted against making changes to his starting XI. He fielded the same team that defeated NorthEast United 2-1.

The Gaurs had a great chance of taking a lead as early as the second minute. Edu Bedia played a defense-splitting ball from the deep for Alvaro Vazquez, whose shot was saved by the Mariners’ custodian, Vishal Kaith.

Pena’s men dominated the initial exchanges and the chances kept on coming one after the other. From another Bedia pass, Iker Guarrotxena had a shot in the 6th minute, but Kaith was up to the task again. Only a few moments later, Bedia himself tried a long ranger, but Kaith was not to be beaten.

In the next minute, Guarrotxena pulled the trigger once again and had his shot saved by Kaith for the second time in as many minutes. The rebound fell for Bedia, but this time around, the Spaniard could not keep his shot on target.

In the 22nd minute, Bedia delivered a dangerous ball from a set-piece, which was met by Anwar Ali. The young centre-back’s header struck the crossbar before falling kindly for Vazquez, who tucked it home. However, the goal was adjudged offside.

After somehow keeping the scoreline 0-0, Ferrando’s team had their first opportunity in the 23rd minute. Manvir Singh delivered a cross into the box, and while that was cleared away, the rebound came in Joni Kauko’s path. However, the Finnish midfielder’s shot was not on target.

Liston Colaco tried his luck from a long way out in the 37th minute, while a couple of minutes later, Guarrotxena had another pop at the goal. However, neither attempt had the required precision to break the deadlock.

Like the first half, Goa dominated possession in the initial exchanges of the second half, but they did also get a goal this time around. After receiving a long ball from Anwar, Dohling made a darting run down the right flank. While it seemed that the angle was not in his favor, the defender managed to beat Kaith with a sublime shot.

The Mariners almost found an equaliser in the 67th minute when Brendan Hamill rose highest to meet a Dimitri Petratos cross with his head. However, his attempt did not trouble Dheeraj Singh under the Goa goal.

Just as Ferrando’s team was picking up momentum, the Gaurs delivered the killer blow with an insurance goal in the 76th minute. A precise corner by Bedia found Fares Arnaout completely unmarked, and the Syrian defender made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

In the 80th minute, Manvir managed to get on the end of an Ashique Kuruniyan cross, but his attempt was not on target. The complexion of the game could have altered had he utilized that chance, but instead, Goa scored another goal only three minutes later.

Anwar came up with yet another assist as his long ball found Sadaoui unmarked. The Moroccan striker was a long way away from goal, but he still managed to beat Kaith with an impeccable shot.

The Mariners had a last-ditch attempt in additional time, courtesy of two substitutes. After receiving a pass from Irish midfielder Carl McHugh, young winger Kiyan Nassiri had a shot, but his shot went miles over the crossbar.

With this win, Goa has climbed to third place with 12 points to their name. They will now take on Bengaluru on Saturday while ATK Mohun Bagan, who slipped to sixth place with 10 points, will take on defending champions Hyderabad later on the same day.