Alberto Noguera Ripoll and Devendra Dhaku Murgaokar scored a goal each as FC Goa registered a hard-earned 2-0 victory over Army Green Football Team at the Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan (VYBK) here on Tuesday.
Noguera scored in the 35th minute and Murgaokar in 59th as the Guars started their campaign on a winning note.
The score-line of the match played on a rainy afternoon in Salt Lake doe’n’t reflect the opportunities the Army Green team created – it rather shows how wasteful they were in front of the goal.
The team in white and green almost caused a huge upset in the 15th minute, when a cross from Vikas Zanje took a wicked deflection and almost caught Goa keeper Naveen Kumar off-guard. Luckily for him, the woodwork saved his blushes.
Juan Fe’rando’s Goa side on the other hand was far more clinical when opportunities presented themselves. In the 35th minute, a beautiful through-ball fr’m Goa’s Makan Winkle Chote put Alberto Noguera through on goal and the Spaniard slotted home past the onrushing Army keeper.
In the 59th minute, Devendra made it 2-0 for the Gaurs after Romario Jesuraj had found him inside the box with a great delivery.
It was one of those days for Army Green when they could have done everything they would have wanted to except for scoring. Ten minutes later, forward Lallawmkima had the best chance of the game when the ball landed at his feet following a comedy of errors inside the Goa box.
He had all the time in the world to settle himself, which he did and when it was time for him to take the shot, he tried to be too cheeky by taking an extra touch and going around the keeper.
However, Naveen Kumar preserved his clean-sheet by making a fine save. Kima in fact, had a couple of chances in the game from where he could have scored but it was not to be for Army Green.
Speaking of fine saves, Army Green custodian Sarath Narayanan produced a couple of blinding saves to keep his side in the game until the very end. He kept out a header from point-blank range to deny Goa defender Lalhmangaihsanga (Papuia) in the 72nd minute before making another excellent save to keep out a long-range swerving attempt from Alexander Romario Jesuraj.