Match report: FC Goa go down fighting against Mohammedan Sporting

This was the Gaurs’ first loss in a Durand Cup game

Goa, August 16, 2022: A goal from Muhammed Nemil in the first half gave the young Goa FC side a real spark, but in the end was only a consolation for them as they lost 3-1 to Mohammedan SC in their Durand Cup 2022 opening game on Tuesday.

Three first-team players, viz. Hrithik Tiwari, Nemil and Phrangki Buam made it into FC Goa head coach Deggie Cardozo’s starting XI when new signing Ayush Chhetri was called up as a substitute. The young Gaur got off to a positive start as they carved out their first chance through Muhammed Nemil, whose long-range shot went just over the bar in the 8th minute.

This served as a sort of wake-up call for Mohammedan SC, who then resorted to heavy pressing to frustrate their opponents. It nearly bore fruit in the 30th minute as Kolkata recovered the ball and orchestrated a counterattack. The ball eventually landed at Vanlalzuidika on the right, whose perfectly timed cross found Pritam Singh in the box. However, the latter shot wide to the relief of FC Goa.

However, it was the Boys in Orange who drew the first blood just four minutes later as Nemil was back in the thick of the action. The young midfielder got the ball outside the box and looked up to see the positioning of Mohammedan goalkeeper Shankar Roy before rolling it into the top left corner, leaving the goalkeeper and the rest of his team-mates speechless.

After the half-time break, the I-League team needed just two minutes in the second half to restore the scorer’s tie. Pritam Singh made up for his earlier miss when he took advantage of a loose ball in the box and fired it home from close range.

FC Goa goalkeeper Hrithik Tiwari also had several goals in the second half of the game. The Assam native made an impressive double save in the 59th minute to ward off the opposition before going on with back-to-back saves in the 73rd and 74th to keep Goa in the game.

Ten minutes later, however, Mohammedan SC took the lead as they took advantage of some tired legs in the Gaurs’ ranks. A quick counterattack ended with Faslu Rahman putting the ball into the net with a fine header. In the second minute of stoppage time, Marcus Joseph provided the finishing touch with his team’s third goal.

Goa FC are therefore yet to open their account in Group A of the 2022 Durand Cup, while Mohammedan SC took home three points. Next up for the Durand Cup is the Boys in Orange against the Indian Air Force at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan on Friday 19th August.

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