FC Goa went back to winning ways on the road here in Kochi, beating the Kerala Blasters 3-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Gaurs had a tight leash on the proceedings from the get go as movement combined with on-the-ball excellence and determined defending led the Gaurs to all three points.
Goa took charge right from the first kick of the ball and didn’t take much time to get off the mark. Coro, as usual, was perfection personified as he glanced in a whipped cross from the right boot of Ahmed Jahouh to give the Gaurs the lead in the 11th minute.
With Edu Bedia and Jahouh in charge of the orchestra in midfield, the away side dominated possession in the first half. With the tempo dictated by Goa, it was no surprise that it was the Men in White (for the night) who had the best chances following the opener.
Bedia, the captain for the night, saw two of his shots go high and wide whilst Jahouh’s scorcher from his weaker left-foot nearly doubled the lead for Goa in the 42nd minute. Goa would, however, not need to wait much to get on the score sheet again.
A brilliant break from the back saw Coro lead the charge with Edu, and surprisingly, Jahouh making decoy runs. With the Blasters failing to close down the Spaniard, he manufactured space before unleashing another inch-perfect finish that left the diving Naveen Kumar with only air to clutch at.
It was more of the same in the second half as Goa kept the pedal to the metal and drove home the momentum through Manvir Singh. The Indian international rose highest to head home Brandon Fernandes’ brilliantly whipped in ball from a corner in the 67th minute to bag his first goal for the club.
Mohammad Nawaz also had a brilliant game in goal as the former India U17 international thwarted two great shots from Len Doungel and later CK Vineeth to keep Kerala at arm’s length.
He will have to wait for his second clean sheet of the season a little longer as Kerala scored a late consolation goal courtesy of Nikola Krčmarević in the 92nd minute to give the home fans something to cheer about.
The visitors could have added to their lead late on with Miguel Palanca and Brandon going close. The Gaurs, however, would have to do with a 3-1.
Goa now has a three point lead at the top of the table having garnered 16 points from seven games. The team returns to action on the 22nd of November when they host the still unbeaten Bengaluru FC.