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6-min read

ISL 2015: Zico-mentored FC Goa's road to the final

FC Goa made it to the final of the second season of Indian Super League (ISL) after beating Delhi Dynamos 3-1 on aggregate in what has been a campaign of some brilliant moments.

Abhishek Nandwani | IBNLive.comabhinandwani

Updated:December 19, 2015, 9:48 AM IST
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ISL 2015: Zico-mentored FC Goa's road to the final
FC Goa made it to the final of the second season of Indian Super League (ISL) after beating Delhi Dynamos 3-1 on aggregate in what has been a campaign of some brilliant moments.
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FC Goa made it to the final of the second season of Indian Super League (ISL) after beating Delhi Dynamos 3-1 on aggregate in what has been a campaign of some brilliant moments.

Goa have played like a team possessed from the very start of the season and have been the most consistent of the lot. They were unlucky not to reach the finals last time around as they lost to Atletico de Kolkata on penalty shoot-out but this time around they have taken their revenge and will be hoping to lift the trophy.

Goa, who have won 8 matches from 16 outings so far, will face Chennaiyin FC in the final on Sunday.

This is how they managed to reach the summit clash:

2nd leg of semi-final against Delhi Dynamos: Producing an inspirational performance, Goa demolished Delhi 3-0 to breeze into the title match. Having lost the first leg of the semi-final in Delhi by a solitary goal, Zico's boys came out all guns blazing against Roberto Carlos's out-of-sorts outfit to thump them 3-0. Joffre, Rafael Coelho scored in the first half while Dudu Omagbemi's strike in the 84th minute was the final nail in the coffin.

1st leg of semi-final against Delhi Dynamos: Robin Singh's first-half goal was enough to help Delhi Dynamos to a 1-0 win over Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Capital. Delhi prevented Zico's side from scoring a crucial away goal, but Goa were lucky not to have lost the match with a bigger margin and that surely gave them hope in the second leg.

Last league game against Delhi Dynamos: In their last game of the league stage , FC Goa registered a great comeback win. When Delhi went into the break leading 2-0, it looked like Goa were in for a hammering. However, Zico's men turned the game on its head in the second half and with the help of a brace from Romeo Fernandes and one for Joffre, the away team completed a stunning comeback win that cemented the top spot for Goa in the standings.

Crushing win over Kerala Blasters: Brazilian striker Reinaldo struck a hat-trick in a 5-1 mauling of Kerala Blasters that also confirmed Goa's place in the final four. Kerala scored the opening goal but after that there was no stopping the Gaurs. Midfielder Joffre scored the equalising goal and Goa went 2-1 up in the 29th through Reinaldo who extended the margin in the 50th and the 61st minute. Dessai then inflicted more wounds on the Blasters with a left-footed strike in the 64th.

Fighting draw against NorthEast United FC: Goa again came from behind to hold North East United to a 1-1 draw and remain second on the points tally. While North East got the lead through Victor Mendy in the 56th minute, the home team drew level in the 80th minute courtesy Reinaldo. With that draw, Zico's boys maintained their second position in the league table with 19 points from 12 games - one behind leaders Atletico de Kolkata.

Humiliation against Atletico de Kolkata: Goa got a taste of their own medicine as Antonio Lopez Habas's men handed them a 4-0 defeat. The chief architect of ATK's splendid win was the South African medio Samheeg Doutie who produced a stunning brace (20th and 78th) beside setting up captain Borja Fernandez (22nd) with a superb assist. Iain Hume struck from a penalty. The win also saw ATK leapfrog Goa on the points table to grab the top spot.

Thumping win over Mumbai City FC: Thongkoisep Haokip and Dudu Omagbemi scored a hat-trick each as FC Goa demolished Mumbai City FC 7-0 in the biggest ever win of the ISL. Dudu (41st, 63rd and 66th) and Haokip (33rd, 52nd and 79th) made merry with three goals each while substitute Reinaldo Oliveira (90th) added one more in a completely one-sided match. The earlier biggest margin of victory was the 5-0 thrashing of FC Pune City by Mumbai City FC in Mumbai last season.

Deserving point against FC Pune City: Eugeneson Lyngdoh opened the scoring for Pune before Rafael Coelho and Jonatan Lucca’s strikes nullified his efforts. Marquee man Adrian Mutu's timely left-footed volley helped Pune to a draw. With that one point, Goa remained top of the table. Goa played the waiting game in this one and looked to pounce on the counter. It almost worked for them but Mutu had other ideas.

Convincing win against Chennaiyin FC: FC Goa were pleased with their 2-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC that took them to the top of the ISL table. The win came through two goals from penalties scored by Leo Moura (64th minute) and Jonatan Lucca (74th minute). Chennaiyin had defeated Goa 4-0 in the away clash in Goa and it was not surprising to see the visitors opt for an extra man in defence. The five-man defence made it difficult for Chennaiyin to break them down.

Tight contest against FC Pune City: Pune were top of the group at that time but FC Goa came out with a fighting performance to earn a draw against them. Goa, who dominated the first half but failed to find the net, took the lead in the 46th minute through an own goal by Pune defender Roger Johnson. But the visitors fought back and restored parity through Eugeneson Lyngdoh's equaliser in the 64th minute. Goa moved to third place with that draw.

First away defeat of the season against Mumbai City: Mumbai City were seventh on the points table and Goa were surely the favourites going into this one. But they were brought down by Nicolas Anelka’s men. Goals by Sunil Chhetri and Frederic Piquionne on either side of the break saw the Gaurs suffer their first away defeat of the season.

Nervous win against Kerala Blasters: Gregory Arnolin's 84th-minute strike helped FC Goa edge past Kerala Blasters 2-1 in a keenly contested game, and that took them to top spot. Into the final minutes with the game tied at 1-1, central defender Gregory made it count to score the winner much to the delight of the home fans at Fatorda. Kerala drew first blood after Mohammed Rafi's goal in the first half but Goa remained focused and got a hard-earned win.

Goa outclass NorthEast United: Goa returned to winning ways as they travelled to Guwahati and registered a 3-1 win over the NorthEast United FC. Lucca, Reinaldo and Mandar Rao Desai got the goals for Goa after Francis Dadzie had given NorthEast United an early lead.

Crushed at the hands of Chennaiyin FC: Stiven Mendoza scored the first hat-trick of the tournament as Chennaiyin FC thrashed FC Goa 4-0. Chennai, who had lost their earlier two matches, showed determination as they displayed an impressive attacking style of football to outplay FC Goa with Mendoza finding the back of the net in the 10th, 63rd and 75th minutes. The home team were a disjointed lot with their midfield not working and defence crumbling under pressure. Goa defender Lucio also got injured after coach Zico had made all the three substitutions and they played with 10 men for the last 10 minutes.

Held by Atletico de Kolkata: FC Goa failed to capitalise on an extra man as they were held by spirited Atletico de Kolkata side. Title holders ATK led 1-0 at half time but were reduced to 10 men when striker Baljit Singh Sahni was given marching orders in the 62nd minute. Goa began to push men forward and were rewarded when defender Almeida smashed a strong shot into the net in the 81st minutes after being set up by Reinaldo. But they could not force a winner in the final ten minutes.

Goa begin campaign on winning note vs Delhi Dynamos: Zico outsmarted Roberto Carlos in a tactical battle between two distinguished Brazilian football brains as they opened their campaign with a convincing 2-0 win. A Souvik Chakraborty own goal and Reinaldo's strike in the first half gave the home team a dream start.

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