Goa beat Kerala to go top of ISL table

Fatorda (Goa), Oct 22 (IANS) Leo Moura and Gregory Arnolin scored once in each half as FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters FC 2-1 to go top of the points table in their Indian Super League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.

Kerala took the lead in the 24th minute with Mohammed Rafi finding the net. Moura (45th minute) leveled the scores just before half-time before Arnolin (84th) found the winner in the closing stages.

The Goans now have 10 points from five matches. They overtook second placed FC Pune City who have nine points from four matches.

Kerala meanwhile, suffered their third defeat in five matches.

For the most part of the first half, the game was well-contested. Ball possession changed sides frequently with plenty of intercepts and run-ins going around.

The deadlock was broken when Rafi spotted a Rahul Bheke cross that came right into the FC Goa box, and he made no mistake heading it home.

Zico’s men finally found an answered just before the break when Moura latched on to a deflection by Kerala Blasters goalkeeper Stephen Bywater and fired it to the top left corner as the teams went into the break locked at 1-1.

Kerala dominated possession in the initial phase of the second half.

The home supporters cranked up the noise level with the arrival of local boys Mandar Rao Dessai and Romeo Fernandes as substitutions in the 61st minute. But a hush followed, when in the 64th minute, from a corner, the Blasters came close to scoring their second, from a Sanchez Watt blast at first, and then two consecutive jabs by Bruno Perone.

Goa finally made sure of the full three points when Arnolin headed home off a Mandar corner.

Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani stood tall towards the end and stopped C.K. Vineeth’s volley to keep Kerala at bay.

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