Ferran Corominas scored a wonderful brace as FC Goa ended the year with a 5-1 thrashing win against NorthEast United at the JLN Stadium in Fatorda on Friday.
The Spaniard scored his first in three league matches – none of which Goa has won – breaking the deadlock in the 59th minute after a barren first half. It opened up the flood-gates and by the time the game drew to an end Edu Bedia (69th) and Hugo Boumous (71st) had added to the tally, while Coro had completed the double. Bartholomew Ogbeche netted a consolation goal for the Highlanders before Miguel Palanca made it 5-1 in the first minute of injury-time.
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The victory was also the first Goa won in three matches – two of which were defeats – taking them to third in the point standings with 20 from 11 matches. NorthEast after a great run initially, when they also topped the table, are fourth on the number of points but from a game more.
But the match could have turned out the other way had referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna spotted Carlos Pena’s deliberate handball in the first half. Federico Gallego’s corner seemed to have Ogbeche unmarked inside the Goa penalty box but before the former PSG man could head in a goal, Pena had handled the ball.
That corner, which came after Redden Tlang was denied by brilliant a save from goalkeeper Mohammad Nazwaz, was surprisingly the visitors’ only attack in the opening 45 minutes.
Goa, on the other, had several chances to kill the game but failed to fire at goal. The very first of them came in the 15th minute when Brandon Fernandes found Boumous through but his cross failed to get the foot of Coro and Maturda Fall, both sliding-in seconds late.
Minutes later Brandon’s goalmouth shot was blocked by Gurwinder Singh while Boumous failed to tap-in a lovely low cross from Mandar Rao Desai.
But after missing almost every goal-scoring opportunities – they could have scored five times – Goa found form in front of goal in the second half. And just 14 minutes after the break Coro put them ahead redirecting a Jackichand Singh cross beyond NorthEast goalkeeper Pawan Kumar’s reach.
Bedia then made most of Gurwinder’s mistake of failing to stop Bousmous from laying on a through ball. The Goa skipper chipped in over Kumar with utter confidence.
Boumous soon found the net – after missing three tap-in chances – when he finally got a foot to Brandon’s delivery from the right. And on a night of full happiness for the home team, Corominas added one more feather to his milestones in India by equaling Iain Hume as the India Super League’s joint highest top scorer.