A second half penalty and a last-gasp winner from Igor Angulo enabled FC Goa to come from behind and win against Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday. The Men of Steel were extremely unlucky after initially taking the lead through Stephen Eze, while another legitimate goal wasn’t spotted by the referee and linesman because the ball hit the bar, dropped inside the goal line and came out.
Owen Coyle’s men were the brighter of the two sides in the first half. They looked physically sharper and seemed to reach the loose balls earlier. It was also quite a physical match initially with a couple of aggressive tackles on Brandon Fernandes and Jorge Ortiz. Their first real foray inside the penalty box was through Aniket Jadhav who nutmegged Ricky Lallanmawma and went deep inside the box but his cutback failed to reach Valskis. Soon after, Angulo was wrongly given offside after he tried to head in a Brandon cross. Fortunately for the linesman, his effort was wide anyway.
Goa’s first real chance was from a beautiful through ball from Alexander Jesuraj for Angulo. The Spaniard’s run towards goal drew a last ditch tackle from Stephen Eze prompting Juan Ferrando’s men to demand a penalty. However, the referee waved play on. As the game went on, the Gaurs’ midfield looked less and less involved in the game. Princeton Rebello, Brandon and Edu Bedia hardly had any time on the ball as the Jamshedpur as they were unable to resist Jamshedpur’s high press. It was only Jorge Ortiz who looked like he would be able to create something out of nothing for Juan Ferrando’s men.
Finally, the breakthrough came in the 33rd minute when an Aitor Monroy free kick was deflected into the goal by the outstretched right leg of Eze (1-0). It was probably a deserved lead based on the balance of play and it prompted a response from Goa in the second half. In what was an end-to-end start to the half, chances started falling left, right and centre for both teams as Goa tried to push forward. In the 49th minute, Ivan Gonzalez scuffed a simple pass which Valskis latched on and was about to run through on goal but was held on to by the Spanish defender. Then a similar instance happened at the other end of the pitch as a loose pass from a Jamshedpur FC midfielder fell for Angulo who went past Ricky but blazed his shot over TP Rehenesh’s goal.
It was all FC Goa during this stretch and they finally had their reward in the 63rd minute. A blistering run from James Donachie split open the Jamshedpur defence. The Australian played a neat one-two on the edge of the box with substitute Devendra Murgaonkar and just as he was about to run through on goal, Alex Lima caught him inside the penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot for a penalty which Angulo finished with aplomb (1-1).
Thereafter, it seemed as if lady luck just wasn’t on Jamshedpur’s side. A very well-directed Valskis cross was completely missed by Eze who tried to direct it in. Then, the Lithuanian’s free kick from 25 yards hit the post and went over. There was more misfortune in store for Owen Coyle’s men however. Lima managed to reach a Valskis through ball and took a first time shot. The ball hit the bar, then dropped inside the goal line before coming out. Neither the referee, nor the linesman could spot it correctly as the ISL had its very own ‘Frank Lampard against Germany in the World Cup’ moment.
It looked like it would end as a draw but Angulo had other ideas. With just 15 seconds left on the clock, the leading goalscorer in the ISL added another one against his name following a well taken Edu Bedia corner. Based on their second half performance, one could say that they deserved the three points. However, Juan Ferrando would be thanking his lucky stars that the level of refereeing in the league, which he has been vocally critical about, was the thing that came to his side’s rescue in the end. They rise up to fifth with this victory, overtaking Jamshedpur who drop down by one place and are sixth.