Football

10-man FC Goa holds Kerala Blasters in the Hero Indian Super League

Fly, Lenny, fly! Rodrigues saved Goa’s blushes in the nick of time.

Fly, Lenny, fly! Rodrigues saved Goa’s blushes in the nick of time.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

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Rodrigues’ strike in injury time breaks Kerala hearts

It looked the better side for a major part at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday. To add to its advantage, Kerala Blasters saw its rival FC Goa being forced to 10 men for nearly 40 minutes of the second half. But, after producing all the right moves, the home side lowered its guard in injury time and allowed Goa to walk away with a 2-2 draw in the sixth round of the Hero Indian Super League.

The contest, loaded with suspense and drama, saw Blasters find the target soon after the start. The second-minute goal, which came off a set-piece, made the home players a confident lot in the opening half.

A long throw-in from Raju Gaikwad from the left was headed out of the box by Goa defender Serigne Mourtada Fall. But midfielder Sergio Cidoncha, who looked impressive right through, was quick to pounce on the golden opportunity. His half-volley easily beat goalkeeper Mohammed Nawaz.

For Blasters, Spaniard Cidoncha stood out with his contribution. Though the host crowded its defence whenever there was a threat, a fine move towards the end of the first session gave Goa the equaliser.

A long cross from the left by Jackichand Singh landed deep into the box and Fall, whose error had given Blasters the lead, gleefully headed the ball home in the 41st minute, giving goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh no chance.

Fall sent off

The tie turned sharply in the 50th minute when Fall was given the marching orders for bringing down the goalbound Blasters striker Bartholomew Ogbeche just outside the box.

Grabbing the numerical advantage, Blasters went ahead again eight minutes later. Cameroonian forward Messi Bouli, making the most of Prasanth Karuthadathkuni’s superb cross from the left, sent the ball spinning into the near corner even as two Goa defenders desperately attempted to stop him.

Just when the home side looked set to celebrate a rare win came the heartbreaking goal from an alert Lenny Rodriques in added time.

The result: Kerala Blasters 2 (Cidoncha 2, Bouli 59) drew with FC Goa 2 (Fall 41, Rodrigues 90+2).

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 3:57:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/10-man-fc-goa-holds-kerala-blasters-in-the-hero-indian-super-league/article30131678.ece

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