Goa stay in top four race, Bengaluru’s chances end

Kalyani: Players in action during Hero I-League match between Churchill Brothers FC Goa Vs Mohun Bagan at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal’s Kalyani on Dec 8, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Margao (Goa), Feb 21 (IANS) FC Goa stayed in the race for the Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs with a 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC on Sunday at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. The result ends Bengaluru FC’s slim chances of finishing in the top four.

Goa took a quickfire lead through Igor Angulo in the 20th minute and Redeem Tlang in the 23rd minute before Suresh Wangjam in the 33rd minute cut short Bengaluru’s deficit.

With the result, Goa not only consolidated their spot in the top four but are also now unbeaten in 12 games – matching their own record between 2014 and 2015 and Mumbai City’s 12-game run this season.

Bengaluru started the game brightly but a lapse in concentration from them saw Goa break the deadlock.

Glan Martins dispossessed Erik Paartalu just outside the box before finding Angulo. The striker made his way into the box before burying his shot at the far post, leaving Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with no chance.

Just minutes later, Tlang doubled Goa’s tally. After Rahul Bheke failed to clear a cross, Alexander Jesuraj got to the ball and flicked it towards the path of Tlang, who scored his first goal in Goa colours with a well-taken strike.

Just when it looked like Goa were in the driving seat, Bengaluru pulled one back soon after the water break.

Prancing into the box after beating Seriton with a clever first touch, Wangjam curled his shot at the far corner with a delightful finish to notch up his first goal for Bengaluru.

The Blues had another great chance to draw level right at the end of the first half but were denied by the woodwork. Xisco Hernandez whipped in a delicious cross for Cleiton Silva whose header rattled the crossbar.

Just after the change of ends, Angulo missed a fine opportunity to get his brace. He got past the Bengaluru back line on entering the box and attempted to lob the ball over Gurpreet but missed the target.

Bengaluru lacked the cutting edge in the final third despite trying hard to push for an equaliser.

The Gaurs dominated the closing stages of the contest. They fashioned chances to finish the game but just couldn’t get past Gurpreet, who pulled off some stunning saves.

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