The game saw the Gaurs climb to the third position in the standings.
NorthEast United were taught a hard lesson by FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, with the hosts running away with all three points on Friday night. Goa were the more dominant force beating the Highlanders comprehensively with a scoreline of 5-1. Ferran Corominas grabbed a brace while Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous and Miguel Palanca all made it onto the scoresheet. Batholomew Ogbeche grabbed the lone consolation goal for the Highlanders.
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Watch: FC Goa 5-1 NorthEast United highlights
Eelco Schattorie’s team had been delivered a harsh thumping at the hands of Goa. The manager was disappointed with the result. “A very deserved win for them. If you lose 5-1, you cannot say you were better. We have at this moment 17 players, we don’t have many options to choose from. I lost my foreign center-back and we did not have a foreigner on the bench. It was a matter of quality,” he explained.
He further addressed the issues his side faced in the game. “We lacked quality in the build-up. We started with a 4-4-2 because I wanted to play long-balls, as we were unable to build from the back. We lost every ball to Goa. Then you can never play football.”
The Dutch gaffer also talked about the situation at NorthEast. “If you have players who never played in the ISL and have to come and play, that will take time. Overall, compared to all the other teams, if you have the lowest budget you will have less quality in certain positions. When you have only a few players who can score, that’s a problem,” he concluded.
Goa boss Sergio Lobera was ecstatic about the victory. “It’s a good gift for the fans. It is a good gift for the team. It’s a good gift for everyone working for the club. This win is dedicated to all of them,” the gaffer said.
Left-back Carlos Pena played as a makeshift centre-back for Goa to deal with the NorthEast attack. “We knew that Pena could play centre-back. When we signed him we knew what we were getting from him. That’s why we signed him. Analyzing the other team, we knew that they had one of their foreign centre-backs injured, so we knew that they would play one of their other foreigners upfront. Taking that into account we played the way we did,” the Spaniard explained.
“We knew that it was a game that was going to be tough through the middle, particularly, because they have two good forwards in Ogbeche and (Juan) Mascia, with (Federico) Gallego behind them. I think it turned out very well for us,” he added
“I thought it was a complete performance. It was a good reaction to a defeat which was very hard to take for us. This is the team we need to be if we want to achieve important things this season,” Lobera concluded.
Goa move to the third spot in the table, level on points with NorthEast, but with a better goal-difference. They also have a game in hand over their rivals. Both teams will be looking to resume their playoff challenge after the break.