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Tuesday 11 October 2016

ISL 2016 Last Minute Goal Exposes FC Goa Brittle Defence Vs FC Pune City

#Indian #Soccer #League

Fragility is fast becoming the overarching trait that defines manager #Zico's #FC #Goa.This goes back to the last season of the Indian Super League (#ISL) in which #Goa thumped #MumbaiCity #FC by a record seven-goal margin, yet also suffered two 0-4 meltdowns against #AtleticoDeKolkata and #ChennaiyinFC, in addition to throwing away a last-minute lead in the final at home.

Dying moments of that final would've replayed in the minds of the Goan supporters on Saturday night, when #FC #PuneCity's forward Momar #Ndoye breezed past #Lucio, the home team's marquee defender, and curled in a 90th-minute winner that gave goalkeeper Laxmikant #Kattimani no chance of saving. It meant another disjoint display by Goa ended in another defeat.


FC Pune City had won only once in 14 away matches heading into this fixture and that was back in 2014 during the inaugural season. The visitors carried mental baggage of their own, even with a revamped squad. However, there's a growing belief in Goa's opponents that if you can stop Zico's men from scoring, you will, sooner or later, be gifted clear-cut openings to take full advantage of.

The Brazilian manager had a familiar moan after the match — "we created many chances but we were able to convert just once"— and to a certain extent, it's hard not to sympathise with him. Two gilt-edged chances fell to Romeo Fernandes, a second-half substitute who brought with him greater attacking emphasis, but the Indian winger shot one straight at the goalkeeper and skied the other high and wide.

On the other hand, Pune profited twice from a handful of their own opportunities. Arata Izumi converted a generous rebound into an open goal, while Ndoye found himself in space and one-on-one with Lucio. All of Pune's six shots were on target and, furthermore, they were unlucky not to have at least one, if not two, penalties (though Goa should've had one of their own too).

It's a worrying trend for Zico. Opponents, who acknowledge Goa's attacking potential, are content to sit back and then wait for the right opportunities to come by (though Pune were adventurous in patches).Owing to injuries in a revamped FC Goa squad, a new-look team is taking longer to gel — which means Goa must learn how to eke out points on the tougher days or, at the very least, not throw points away.

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