Jamshedpur, March 4 (IANS) FC Goa rode on Spanish striker Ferran Corominas’ brace either side of halftime to qualify for the Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs in a virtual knockout clash against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Sunday.
Top-scorer in the league Corominas scored in the 29th and 51st minute with Manuel Lanzarote (69th) adding gloss to the scoreline.
Jamshedpur, placed fifth on the points table with 26 points from 17 games, had to win the game to make the cut while a draw would have been enough for the visitors who were on 27 points from 17 games.
Goa, who finished with 30 points, joined Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC and FC Pune City to complete the list of teams who will vie for the silverware this season.
While Goa will now take on Chennaiyin, Bengaluru will play Pune for a place in the final.
In a rare incident, both keepers were sent off in each half for handling the ball outside the box.
First, hosts’ veteran India custodian Subrata Paul came out of his 18-yard box to inexplicably catch the ball and after the change of ends, Naveen Kumar did something similar to force the referee to take out the red card from his pocket.
Goa needed at least a draw to seal their spot in the final four, but the win took them to third in the table, one place above Pune.
Jamshedpur fought valiantly but are now out of the reckoning and will look forward to the Super Cup after finishing fifth.
It took just seven minutes for the first major event of the match. Jamshedpur had started with a lot of attacking intent, but were left deflated when Paul handled the ball outside the area and was sent off. With a man down, the home side were staring at an ominous result.
Steve Coppell sacrificed Bikash Jairu to send in goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh and he conceded at the half an hour mark. It was a typical free-flowing move from Goa. Hugo Boumous slipped Seriton Fernandes through, and his cross was missed by Tiri, leaving Corominas to score from the far post with ease.
Souvik Chakrabarti and Izu Azuka combined a few times to threaten Goa’s goal, but while they put pressure on the defence, they failed to break Goa down convincingly.
Jamshedpur had no option but to chase the match and that left big gaps at the back. Lanzarote’s aerial through ball found Corominas on the run, and he slammed it past the goalkeeper.
With a two-goal cushion, the visitors started attacking with all their might to finish off the. Ahmed Jahouh took a rasping effort from a distance which struck the woodwork, but Goa soon found the third goal.
This time it was Corominas’ pass that was cleverly left by Edu Bedia to run onto Lanzarote. The attacker measured his finish and neatly tucked it into the back of the net.
Things got interesting when Goa lost their goalkeeper Naveen for exactly the same reason Jamshedpur did – but this comedy of errors came too late for Jamshedpur to make the most of it.