MARGAO: After losing three and drawing against ATK Mohun Bagan in all previous matches, FC Goa finally recorded their first victory against the Mariners in the Indian Super League (SIL) here on Sunday.
Aibanbha Dohling, Mohamed Fares Arnaout and Noah Wail Sadaoui were close to spoiling Juan Ferrando’s return to Fatorda with a 3-0 win.
FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena has made two changes to the side which lost to Kerala Blasters FC last week.
The injured Savior Gama dropped out of the matchday squad as Marc Hernandez returned to the heart of defence, pushing Dohling to left-back. The other change raised some eyebrows when Noah Wail Sadaoui was benched and Redeem Tlang started on the right flank.
ATK Mohun Bagan FC have made no changes to their starting lineup.
The first half was full of action and ended with everything but goals. In the first seven minutes of the game, Vishal Kaith, ATK sniper Mohun Bagan, made four saves.
It was a physical fight in midfield as four yellow cards were shown by the referee in the first 45 minutes. Deepak Tangri, Manvir Singh and Subhasish Bose had their names taken for the Mariners after cynical fouls. Brandon Fernandes was the only FC Goa player booked in the first half.
The 2022-23 ISL’s 100th goal was scored when the deadlock was finally broken five minutes into the second half.
Dohling sprinted down the left flank to pounce on a long diagonal. The full-back passed Asish Rai, adjusted his foot and kicked the ball from a sharp angle.
A minute into the final quarter of the match, FC Goa added a second. Substitute Fares Arnaout beat Brendan Hamill to the ball before heading in an Edu Bedia corner just 11 minutes after coming on.
Eight minutes from time, Kaith’s poor keeper allowed substitute Sadaoui to score his fourth goal of the season from distance.
The win lifted FC Goa from seventh to third in the ISL standings, three points behind Mumbai City FC with one game less.
ATK Mohun Bagan fell one place to sixth place, level on points with Chennaiyin FC. Both teams will be in action on November 26. The Gaurs will face Bengaluru FC at home, while the Mariners will host Hyderabad FC.

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