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FC Goa record an emphatic 2-1 win over Al Shabab

Friendly Match: Al Shabab v FC Goa

Friendly Match: Al Shabab v FC Goa

FC Goa beat Al Shabab 2-1 in their second friendly ahead of the upcoming Hero Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2, at the Al Shabab Stadium in Dubai, on Tuesday evening.

FC Goa Head Coach Zico made four changes from the Starting 11 that started in the 2-2 draw against Al Khaleej a few days ago. Laxmikant Kattimani started in goal in place of Elinton Andrade while Narayan Das, Pronay Halder and Darryl Duffy were handed starts in place of Debabrata Roy, Joaquim Abranches and Thongkhosiem Haokip.

The hosts hit on the gas early on, but the Goans managed to ward them off before Léo Moura’s cross for Nicolau Colaco alerted the Al Shabab defense in the 8th minute.

Goa kept a good shape in the defense marshaled by marquee player Lúcio despite having to deal with a couple of long efforts from their opponents until the Gaurs started getting offensive in attack. Reinaldo failed to control Moura’s pass in the 27th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 in favour of FC Goa with Jofre finding the back of the net through a deflected free-kick in the 29th minute.

The ISL side kept up the ante but Narayan Das was deemed to have fouled an Al Shabab player inside the box, and a result of the converted penalty both teams walked into the lemon break with the scoreline reading 1-1.

Crossing over, it was more of a battle for authority at the center of the park despite a couple of efforts made by FC Goa to move ahead.

Three quick changes for FC Goa saw Nicolau, who picked a slight injury, get replaced by Keenan Almeida. Jonatan Lucca and Romeo Fernandes came in place of Bikramjit Singh and Duffy respectively.

Jofre was blocked a shot at goal in the 66th minute after linking well with Narayan and on the other side Al Shabab let fly a free-kick from about 30 yards wide of the mark.

The 71st minutes sent the FC Goa fans in Dubai in ruptures as Reinaldo restored his side’s lead with a brilliant finish that was a succeeded from a pass by Romeo who dribbled past two opponents after receiving the ball from Moura.

Chants for Romeo filled the stadium as Al Shabab tried desperately to find a late equaliser and almost did so in the 84th minute off a header.

FC Goa had to survive the remaining minutes with ten men on the pitch following the marching orders given to skipper Lúcio for high boots. Jofre gets his share of the applause, being substituted by Luciano Sobrosa in the 88th minute.

“It was good because all the players played around 90 minutes with a good level. This was the most important thing in this match. Many things were good during the matches. There are some things that we have to correct,” Brazilian legend and FC Goa Head Coach Zico said after the match.

The timings of the Goan side’s remaining matches against Ajmal FC, Al Jazeera Club and Hatta Club at the respective clubs’ grounds on September 16, 19 and 20 respectively, have been revised to 17.45, 17.30 and 17.30 Dubai local time.