FC Goa began their Durand Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over Army Green in Kolkata today. After a different start to the game, Juan Ferrando’s men slowly got into their rhythm, scoring goals from either side of the break to collect all three points from their opener.
Juan Ferrando named a young starting line-up for the Gaur with Papua and Christy Davies making their senior team debuts. Princeton Rebello was named captain, while the starting XI included only one foreigner in Alberto Noguera.
Both sides started in a cage with a lack of normal sharpness in the final third. However, as the game progressed, Gaur made his presence felt and finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute.
Some neat interplay between Maken Chothe and Noguera helped the Spaniard move past the last line of defence, before bowling the ball over Sarath Narayanan at Army Green.
Gaur ransacked the counter five minutes later, but his attempt to burst Murgavkar’s lung was foiled by the keeper.
Ferrando made a change at halftime with Glenn Martins, Alexander Romario Jesuraj and MD Nemil coming in for Gaud.
It was Army Green, however, who went out of the box the fastest after the break as Naveen Kumar had to effect two good stops within the first three minutes of the second half to keep the 2016 Durand champions at bay.
FC Goa bounced back after an early setback and finally counted on their superiority in the 59th minute. Good work on the right saw Romario with space and time to place the ball on a plate, who slid the ball past the keeper to give Gaur a 2 goal cushion.
Goa created several chances in the remaining minutes but failed to advance as the game ended 2-0.
FC Goa will be back in action next Monday (13 September) when they take on Sudeva Delhi FC. That game is scheduled for kickoff at 3 p.m.