Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was sent off in the first half for an ‘of the ball’ incident.
FC Goa handed Bengaluru FC their first loss of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 after beating the Blues in a 4-3 thriller at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday. Ferran Corominas broke the deadlock early on but Miku levelled soon after. Corominas then scored Goa’s second before Bengaluru were reduced to 10 men after Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was sent off and conceded a penalty. Manuel Lanzarote scored from the spot for Goa’s third but Bengaluru got back into the game with goals from Erik Paartalu and Miku in the second half. Corominas, however, completed his hat-trick shortly after the hour mark to give his side the win.
Both sides made an attacking start to the contest in search of an early opener. Chances were created at either end but it was Bengaluru’s Paartalu, who had Goa custodian Laxmikant Kattimani scrambling in the 13th minute to make a fine save.
Three minutes later the Blues conceded their first goal from open play this season after Corominas picked up the ball in Bengaluru’s half and went on a surging run. Bengaluru’s backline was left in the wake of the Spaniard as he skipped past their defenders before finishing with aplomb to make it 1-0 for the hosts.
The visitors weren’t behind for too long though thanks to an exquisite ball over Goa’s backline by Paartalu. Miku got on the end of the ball by the Australian and fired his shot in between Kattimani’s legs in the 21st minute to square things up at 1-1.
ISL 2017-18 highlights: FC Goa 4-3 Bengaluru FC
Udanta Singh then had a chance to give Bengaluru the lead, but he couldn’t direct a cross from the right goal-wards to the relief of the home crowd. Relief turned into joy for the Goa supporters in the 33rd minute when Corominas scored his second of the night.
This time the Spaniard found himself at the end of a well-rehearsed set-piece routine. Bruno Pinheiro squared the ball towards goal with his head for Corominas to collect and find the back of the net to get Goa back in front.
Things went from bad to worse for Bengaluru three minutes later when their goalkeeper Sandhu conceded a penalty and was sent off for pushing Lanzarote to the floor in the box. Abhra Mondal came on for Rahul Bheke to replace Sandhu in goal but he could do nothing about Lanzarote’s spot-kick, which gave the Gaurs a 3-1 lead.
Corominas could have had his hat-trick in the 41st minute after finding himself on the end of a beautiful Lanzarote cross. This time though Mondal was up to the task and deflected Corominas’ shot behind for a corner in what was the last bit of action in a frantic first half.
Bengaluru returned to the pitch for the second half on the front foot and pulled one goal back through a Paartalu header from an Edu Garcia corner in the 57th minute. The Blues then stunned Goa three minutes later after Miku went on a mazy dribble that left two Goa defenders on the floor. The Venezuelan striker applied the finishing touch by dinking the ball over an outrushing Kattimani to make it 3-3.
Bengaluru’s joy of an equaliser, however, was short-lived after the lethal combination of Corominas and Lanzarote linked up again to re-establish Goa’s lead. Corominas timed his run to perfection while collecting Lanzarote’s pass before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting into an empty net.
Goa could have made it 5-3 in the first minute of stoppage-time after a lightning quick counter-attack was thwarted by the Bengaluru goalkeeper, who was happy to concede a free-kick on the edge of the box. The Gaurs struck the woodwork from the subsequent free-kick but couldn’t extend their lead as Bengaluru succumbed to their first loss of the season.