FC Goa managed to topple Atletico de Kolkata and reach the summit of the Indian Super League 2019-20 table by handing the two-time champions a 2-1 defeat at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The returning Mourtada Fall and Ferran Corominas got on the scoresheet for the hosts, while Jobby Justin slotted home for the visitors.
The match began with ATK trying to take an early lead through David Williams, whose shot from long distance was directed straight at the Goa keeper. However, post that, Goa took over the attacking reins completely. The Gaurs’ first chance came in the seventh-minute when Jackichand Singh sent a cross inside the box only to find it being intercepted by Pritam Kotal.
That didn’t stop the hosts though, who continued to throng the ATK box over and over again through swift through balls and crucial crosses. Brandon Fernandes, Hugo Boumous, Jackichand and Ahmed Jahouh were the key contributors to Goa’s attacking dominance, keeping the entire ATK defence on their toes and enjoying a major share of the possession.
The 27th-minute saw the best chance of the half when Boumous collected Brandon’s cross to take a shot on goal, but it missed the target by mere inches. He had another chance in the 33rd minute to give Goa the lead, but Boumous scuffed Jackichand’s pass despite having enough space. The Gaurs continued to keep the pressure on but failed to find the back of the net in front of a resolute ATK defence and entered the break with a 0-0 scoreline.
The second half started similar to the first with Goa enjoying the greater share of the possession. It was at the hour mark that they were finally rewarded for all their efforts when Fall towered over everyone at the far post to head home Brandon’s free-kick and give Goa a much-deserved lead.
However, Goa’s joy was short-lived as ATK equalised within four minutes, through super-sub Jobby Justin, who had entered the game just seconds back. Mohammad Nawaz managed to parry Carlos Pena’s touch but it fell on the path of Jobby, who scored on the rebound to mark his maiden Hero ISL goal.
Even ATK’s celebration was momentary as two minutes later, Goa scored again through none other than Corominas. Boumous sent a pin-point cross on the path of Coro, who made no mistake to slot it home and restore the lead. ATK almost equalised yet again in the 71st minute, when Augustin Iniguez connected well with Garcia’s corner kick and sent a powerful header goalwards, only for Nawaz to pull off an incredible save.
In the 85th minute, Goa had an opportunity to seal the deal when Manvir Singh got the better of Kotal and had only Arindam Bhattacharja to beat in front of goal, but the latter’s outstretched leg prevented a 3-1 scoreline. Thereafter, even four minutes of added time could not add to ATK’s cause as they succumbed to only their second loss of the season in front of Goa’s solid team play.