Igor Angulo’s goalscoring spree continued in the Indian Super League (ISL) as his injury time winner condemned Hyderabad FC to their third straight defeat on Wednesday. The Nizams took the lead early in the second half via Aridane Santana. However, a late flourish from FC Goa saw the Gaurs bag all three points in a frantic yet engaging game of football at the Tilak Maidan stadium.
The game started at a slow pace with neither side committing too much in attack. Manuel Marquez opted to play Souvik Chakrabarti in the middle alongside Joao Victor, pushing Hitesh Sharma further forward. With young legs in midfield, Hyderabad’s vertical press meant that neither Edu Bedia nor Brandon Fernandes got much time on the ball. James Donachie had a header from the center of the box go wide while Angulo was caught offside a couple of times. At the other end, Santana was a real livewire for the Nizams as he linked up play brilliantly and tried to release Joel Chianese and Halicharan Narzary either side of him.
The first genuine chance of the match was created in the 43rd minute by Brandon when his chipped cross was met by Angulo inside the box but his header went over. Jorge Ortiz was the other Goa player who looked like creating a moment of magic as he tried running at the Hyderabad defence but was thwarted each time by the likes of Akash Mishra and Chinglensana Singh.
19-year-old Akash was at his attacking best at the start of the second period when he rode two challenges and charged down the left before cutting in and shooting wide with his wrong foot. Soon after, Halicharan Narzary went past two and laid a brilliant reverse pass for Joao Victor to step in and shoot. Unfortunately, his effort was straight at Mohammad Nawaz at goal.
Hyderabad got the goal thereafter through their captain. A beautiful cross from Asish Rai saw the Spaniard peel behind Odei Onaindia and place his header perfectly across goal (1-0). He again came close a few minutes later when his shot from range was tipped on to the bar and out for a corner by Nawaz. This was followed by a strangely quiet period where neither team could take the initiative. FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando brought Alberto Noguera, Aiban Dohling and Ishan Pandita on and it was the young Indian attacker who made the difference with three minutes remaining in regulation time.
Ishan was on for just about 15 seconds when he got on the end of a measured cross from Edu Bedia and directed it beyond Laxmikant Kattimani in the Hyderabad goal with his head (1-1). It seemed as if the match was headed for a draw but the wily Angulo had other plans. Noguera threaded a through ball for him which he took in his stride, gave a defender the shoulder and then shot at goal. The shot just about managed to creep in under the arms of a despairing Kattimani (2-1). The Spaniard now has 9 goals and leads the race for the Golden Boot.
It was a near perfect last quarter of the game that gave FC Goa full points. While Ferrando will be relieved with the result, Goa’s defensive frailty still remains an issue especially from aerial situations. Nonetheless, this victory lifts them to third in the table while Hyderabad stay eighth as we head into the New Year break.