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FC Goa go down fighting to Hyderabad FC


GOA, FEBRUARY 19, 2022

FC Goa’s record streak of making the ISL playoffs for 4 consecutive seasons came to an end on Saturday night, following their 3-2 loss to Hyderabad FC at the SAG Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Jorge Ortiz and Devendra Murgaokar netted once each for the Gaurs but couldn’t stop Hyderabad from taking all three points as Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a brace before Joao Victor delivered the telling blow.

Head coach Derrick Pereira made a few changes to his playing XI, as Edu Bedia and Saviour Gama returned to the starting line up. Hyderabad FC kick-started the proceedings, but it was the Gaurs who got the earliest chance to score.

In the 4th minute, Dheeraj Singh’s brilliant long ball found Jorge Ortiz inside the Hyderabad box. Laxmikant Kattimani, however, was quick to sense danger as he got close to the Spaniard and blocked his attempt.

Five minutes later, Dheeraj showcased his abilities once again as he saved Joao Victor’s header at the near post.

Both FC Goa and Hyderabad FC then tried to settle by dominating midfield play and maintaining possession. Manolo Marquez and Co. were finally rewarded for their efforts in the 25th minute.

A great ball from Asish Rai from the right wing found Ogbeche, whose header creeped into the near post to give Hyderabad the lead.

The goal served as a wake-up call for the Gaurs, who went on to create a flurry of chances. Not long after Jorge Ortiz brought the game back on level terms in the 35th minute. The Spaniard received a lovely ball from the top and placed it past the goalkeeper and into the net.

FC Goa’s joys, however, were short lived as Ogbeche rose to the occasion once again seven minutes later. Dheeraj could not get a strong hand to his shot from outside the box, and the ball rolled into the back of the net to give Hyderabad a slender lead heading into the break.

With both Hyderabad FC and FC Goa opting to keep their defence compact, the second half had a relatively quiet start. Things started to heat up past the 65th minute mark, as both teams intensified their efforts.

In the 70th minute, the Southerners got what they were looking for, with Joao Victor scoring off Ogbeche’s assist.

FC Goa, however, did not give up and found their second goal just three minutes later. Brandon Fernandes registered his first assist of the season as Devendra Murgaokar headed home his second of the season to keep the Gaurs in the game.

Derrick Pereira’s boys continued to carve out chances and had as many as seven shots on target throughout the game, but Laxmikant Kattimant in the Hyderabad goal did well to keep them at bay.

Ultimately, the match ended with Hyderabad notching their first-ever win over FC Goa, as they returned to the top of the ISL 2021-22 points table thanks to all three points.

FC Goa will return to action on February 26 when they take on Mumbai City FC.

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