Goa trounces Jamshedpur 3-2 in a riveting clash away from home

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A win against Jamshedpur ensured that Goa would finish in the Top 3 of the league standings

In the penultimate fixture of Matchday 21 of the 2023-24 Indian Super League season, Goa outplayed Jamshedpur in a 3-2 win courtesy of goals from Noah Sadaoui, Carlos Martinez, and Borja Herrera while Rei Tachikawa and Seiminlen Doungel scored for the hosts at the Furnace.

Despite being ruled out of the playoffs race after a 2-1 defeat to Chennaiyin, Khalid Jamil made only one change bringing in Vishal Yadav for TP Rehenesh as the veteran goalkeeper wasn’t even amongst the substitutes.

Goa head coach Manuel Marquez Roca made a couple of changes to his starting XI after a 4-0 thrashing of Hyderabad as hat-trick hero Sadaoui and Rowllin Borges replaced the outgoing Ayush Chhetri and Herrera.

The match had a brisk start as Goa had the first opportunity of the match as a team move ended up with Carlos Martinez having a free header from the edge of the six-yard box but the Spaniard ended up heading wide wasting a golden opportunity to take the lead.

It took the hosts 16 minutes to have their first shot on target as a Jeremy Manzorro free-kick found Javier Siviero inside the box but the former Hyderabad striker’s header was saved by Dheeraj Singh.

From the resulting corner, Tachikawa was left unmarked at the far post and the Japanese player opened the scoring on the evening with a smart finish.

The Red Miners could have doubled their lead less than three minutes later as Manzorro found Siviero unmarked inside the penalty area but the striker could only hit the crossbar leaving Jamil frustrated on the sidelines.

The Gaurs made the hosts pay for the missed opportunity less than 60 seconds later as a long ball from Carl McHugh was trapped by Sadaoui and the winger darted into the box, finishing from a tight angle past Yadav.

Martinez continued to be wasteful on the evening before breaking his duck in the 28th minute as Sadaoui crossed the ball to him and the veteran striker found the top corner of the net via a small deflection giving the much-needed lead to the visitors.

In the 32nd minute, a thunderous strike from Manzorro from outside the 18-yard box was heading straight into the back of the net but Dheeraj’s fingertip save pushed the ball onto the crossbar and the Goa defense cleared the ball away in relief.

Less than 10 minutes later, Goa could have doubled their lead as Mohammed Yasir maintained pressure on Yadav with relentless pressing and the second-choice goalkeeper ended up giving away the ball straight to Brandon Fernandes but the Gaurs’ skipper also hit the crossbar as both sides continued their love-hate relationship with the woodwork.

In the three added minutes, Manolo’s men had two shots on target but Yadav saved both Yasir’s and McHugh’s attempts on goal to head to the dressing room with his side trailing 2-1 at the break.

After 19 shots in the first half, both sides had a quiet start to the second half as neither team showed intensity to break into the opposition half with the exception of Sadaoui who did a couple of stepovers in the Jamshedpur penalty area before sending the ball out for a throw-in.

Just after the hour-mark, the hosts had two opportunities to level the scoring. The first chance fell to Siviero after a cross from Imran Khan but the former East Bengal forward headed the ball wide followed by a Mohammed Sanan darting run into the Goa box followed by a shot which was a whisker away from creeping into the far post.

In the 69th minute, Martinez earned a corner for Goa as his header was saved by Vishal and McHugh saw his strike hit the woodwork for the umpteenth time in the match as the Jamshedpur goalkeeper gathered the ball safely.

Brandon continued to have an excellent game as he found Martinez with a pin-point pass and the 37-year old went around the goalkeeper but Pratik Chaudhari made a last-ditch goal-line clearance to deny the Spaniard a brace on the evening.

Seiminlen Doungel made it 2-2 in an enthralling fixture

Substitute Alen Stevanovic found fellow substitute Doungel on the counter-attack and the forward did well to defy pressure from Nim Dorjee Tamang and placed his ball past Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem to make it 2-2 on the evening.

In the 79th minute, McHugh almost scraped the ball past Yadav but ended up hitting the woodwork yet again on an unfortunate evening for the Irishman. Ten minutes later, substitute Herrera tried a shot from long range but the ball hit the crossbar and went out of play yet again.

In the fifth minute of injury time, substitute Brison Fernandes found Herrera who had a hopeful shot at goal and Yadav let the ball go past him as the Gaurs sealed the 3-2 win on an eventful evening.

With this win, Goa has sealed a ‘Top 3’ spot and remains in contention for the direct semi-final spot with 42 points from 21 matches. The Gaurs will now take on Chennaiyin on Sunday as Marquez would be hoping to add another three points to his team’s tally at the Fatorda Stadium.

On the other hand, Jamil continued his unfortunate record of not having a win against Marquez as Jamshedpur ended their season with 21 points from 22 matches and the higher management would definitely be happy with the work put in by the Indian head coach after taking over the reigns in the midst of the season.

Later in the evening, full-backs Aakash Sangwan and Ankit Mukherjee fired Chennaiyin to a 2-1 win against NorthEast United as the Highlanders were knocked out of the playoffs race by Owen Coyle’s men who would now require a point against Goa on Sunday to seal their playoffs qualification if East Bengal defeats Punjab on Wednesday.