Following their defeat to Jamshedpur in their last match, Goa will be eager to bounce right back and their recent results against Kerala are bound to instil a lot of confidence in the team. As for Kerala, since their victory over ATK on the opening day of the season, Eelco Schattorie's men have been able to pick up just a single point in their subsequent four matches. What perhaps is, even more, worrying for the yellow brigade is the fact that the team has scored just a single goal and conceded four following their win in the season opener. LIVE STREAM
90+2' - GOAL!
That as not in the script! Lenny Rodrigues equalises for FC Goa that too in stoppage time!
The fans in the stands are stunned into silence.
Manvir Singh takes a shot from inside the box that is parried away by Mohamed Nawaz. It falls to Lenny, who does not make a mistake.
KERALA BLASTERS FC 2-2 FC GOA
What a strike in the closing moments of the match from Bartholomew Ogbeche! But it is well saved by Mohammad Nawaz.
The second half should be interesting gives the quality of football we have witnessed in the first.
It is though Mourtada Fall who canceled out Sergio Cidoncha's opener!
KERALA BLASTERS FC 1-1 FC GOA
41' - GOAL!!
Mourtada Fall gets FC Goa back in this against Kerala Blasters!
A body check in a dangerous area from Kerala's Vlatko Drobarov on Manvir Singh. A challenge was not needed really. The FC Goa striker was going nowhere. Drobarov is shown a yellow card.
Edu Bedia takes the free-kick and it hits the post but the ball back in the box finds the head of Mourtada Fall.
KERALA BLASTERS FC 1-1 FC GOA
FC Goa are finding it hard to unlock the Kerala defence and the frustration is showing. Some mistimed tackles and tugs at opposition shirts are disrupting the game.
Meanwhile, the home side are just happy to slow down the pace of the game and let the action unfold. They don't need to force the issue her at all.
2' - Goal!
That takes barely a minute! Sergio Cidoncha gets the Kerala Blasters host off to a blazing start! FC Goa are shell-shocked!
The home team gets a throw-in from the left and they put it straight into the box. Mourtada Fall heads it clear but it goes only as far as Cidoncha just outside the box. Cido takes a shot and the keeper loses the ball in a sea of bodies and it advantage Kerala!
KERALA BLASTERS FC 1-0 FC GOA
Kerala Blasters FC Starting XI - TP Rehenesh (GK), Raju Gaikwad, Mohamad Rakip, Jessel Carneiro, Vlatko Drobarov, Sergio Cidoncha, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Bartholomew Ogbeche (C), Messi Bouli.
FC Goa Starting XI - Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Seriton Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Dessai (C), Lenny Rodrigues, Edu Bedia, Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Manvir Singh.
Sergio Cidoncha (Photo Credit: ISL)
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Kerala head coach Eelco Schattorie promised that his side will be looking to play on the front foot despite facing an attacking side like Goa. "It's a home game, so I don't think they will catch me sitting back. In the last game also, the first-half we tried to press Bengaluru and we will try to do the same to Goa. With Vlatko (Drobarov) coming in, we have a little more quality at the back to build up. These small extras make a difference but, in the end, I try to win and be progressive."
"My young players are making progress like Jeakson (Singh) and Rahul (KP), all of them have made progress. And it takes time. When the senior players join in you can see a lift in the training sessions. But like I said, I'm not a coach who will sit back. I will, if I have to, if certain situations demand it. But we will try to take the game to them," he added.
FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera, on the oher hand, declared that his team isn't dwelling on their last loss and said, "Our mentality is always positive. The last match is in the past and we need to focus on the future. Your focus always needs to be on the next match, which is against Kerala."
Speaking about their opponents, the Spaniard praised Kerala's recruitment for the season. "Kerala are a very good team. They have made a big effort to sign good players. For example, Bartholomew Ogbeche was the best player at NorthEast United FC last season and he signed for Kerala. Gianni Zuiverloon, similarly, was the best player for Delhi Dynamos FC. Sergio Cidoncha and Mario Arques were the best players in Jamshedpur last season. They have built a good team to try and win the league."
Kerala, however, are winless in their last four matches. Providing his take on the matter, Lobera stated, "Now, the situation for them is difficult. Maybe they are feeling pressure. But for me, the most important thing is my team plays well and tries to get the three points."
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