ISL 5: FC Goa breeze past Kerala Blasters 3-1 in Kochi
FC Goa cantered to a 3-1 victory over Kerala Blasters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
This win gives Goa a three-point lead at the top of the table and piled more misery on Kerala, who now have succumbed to their second consecutive loss. They are on a six-game winless streak now.
For the first time in this season, Kerala coach David James came up with an all-Indian defence as he handed Anas Edathodika his first start this season. A goal in his previous game gave Brandon Fernandes a nod ahead of Hugo Boumous in the playing XI for Goa.
Ferran Corominas, who has spectacular for Sergio Lobera’s side since last season once again was at the centre of the action with a brace and a goal by Manvir Singh capped off a perfect outing for Goa on the night.
Coro took just 11 minutes to open his account as he headed home a cross from Ahmed Jahouh as the Kerala defenders were caught off-guard. Just before the break ushered in, the Spaniard came up with an excellent run and completed his brace which was his eighth goal this season.
Kerala almost reduced the deficit after the interval when Seminlen Doungel’s effort was denied by Goa custodian Mohammad Nawaz who had dived to his right to block the effort. Coro got close to clinching his second hat-trick this season when a poor clearance by Naveen was capitalised on by Brandon as he passed it to the Spaniard. But Naveen came up with a good save as further damage wasn’t done to the scoreline.
Naveen couldn’t hold the inevitable eventually as he conceded a corner from which substitute scored in the 66th minute, giving Goa a 3-0 lead.
Doungel then built on a mistake by Mohammad Ali but Nawaz was there to the rescue. For Kerala, CK Vineeth could have had one to his name by an off-the-line clearance by Mourtada Fall denied the home side any goal till that point.
A consolation goal finally came for two-time finalists for whom Nikola Krcmarevic netted one in from a cross by Sandesh Jhingan.