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ISL 2020-21: FC Goa 2-2 Bengaluru FC - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

ISL 2020-21: FC Goa 2-2 Bengaluru FC - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 23 Nov 2020 6:17 AM GMT

Match 3 of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season ended in an exhilarating 2-2 draw between FC Goa and Bengaluru FC. Cleiton Silva and Juanan’s goals put the Blues in a very strong position before Igor Angulo’s quick-fire double brought the Gaurs back into the game late in the second half. In what was an end-to-end contest at the Fatorda stadium in Margao, the two sides gave us the best match of the season so far and here are the main talking points.

The Good: Cometh the hour, cometh Igor Angulo Alboniga

After a slow start to life in ISL, the Spanish striker grew into the match gradually and eventually left his mark with a couple of well-taken goals. The first was an immaculate finish past a hapless Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from a brilliant through ball by another debutant, Alberto Noguera. The second was slightly messier. Alexander Romario Jesuraj was set free down the right by a perfectly weighted pass from Brandon Fernandes and his cross into the box was chested into the goal by Angulo.

The all-time highest foreign goal-scorer in Polish football was a menace for the Bengaluru defence for the entire 90 minutes. He was consistently on the shoulder of the last defender, waiting to pounce on an opportune through ball. The forward was caught offside a number of times too. But that didn’t stop him from keeping at it in the second half and he was rewarded in the end. Also, credit to Juan Ferrando for bringing on Brandon and Romario at a critical juncture with both playing a role in the two goals.


The Bad: Bengaluru’s insistence on playing a high line inspite of Goa’s attacking threat

It was quite obvious from the beginning what Juan Ferrando’s side were trying to do. With most of the possession hogged by Bengaluru, they were trying to play on the counter using Jorge Ortiz’s trickery and Angulo’s strength and hold-up play. Although they were down 1-0 at the interval and conceded another soon after, they came back with renewed vigour and kept working the Bengaluru back line with some intelligent passing and runs.

Bengaluru conceded the first goal through a Brandon pass that found Noguera between the lines quite easily. Even after that, they refused to drop slightly back and deny the space for FC Goa players to play passes into, beyond their last defender. Also, the distance between their central defenders and wing-backs was never quite worked out properly, resulting in gaps opening up on either flank. As a result, Goa was able to pepper the Bengaluru defence with swarms of attacking moves in the second half and eventually get the second goal.

The Ugly: FC Goa’s defensive organisation in the concession of both goals

Bengaluru were in the ascendancy for much of the first half and continued in a similar vein at the start of the second. The Blues scored nearly 50% of their goals last season from set-pieces and it was a long throw that gave them their first goal on the night. Khabra’s throw was deflected by Donachie and caught a static Goa defence by surprise. Sanson Pereira, who had come inside from the left back position, should have seen Cleiton Silva’s run towards the ball but the Brazilian was too quick. He caught the entire defence napping and managed to get his header past Mohammad Nawaz who could do very little.

Their second goal can also be credited to a major breakdown in FC Goa’s defensive shape. James Ivan Gonzalez and Deshorn Brown both went for an aerial ball at the edge of the penalty area. Gonzalez lost out on the header to Brown who laid it off for Erik Paartalu, and the Australian cushioned his header in the path of Juanan who blasted home from close range. Gonzalez’s defensive partner Donachie was also at fault. He lost sight of where Paartalu and Juanan were, stayed behind and played Juanan onside. The understanding between the two new centre-backs has to improve and improve quickly.

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