FC Goa rode on two first half goals courtesy an own goal scored by Souvik Chakraborty (3’) and Reinaldo da Cruz Oliveira (45’+3’) finding the back of the net to beat Delhi Dynamos FC in a 2015 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa, on Sunday evening.
Zico expectedly started with Lúcio and Gregory Arnolin as his central defensive pair while playing Romeo Fernandes and Mandar on the right and left wigs respectively and Reinaldo in the attack.
Delhi Dynamos’ player-manager Roberto Carlos started on the sidelines with his attack consisting of Richard Gadze, Florent Malouda, Vinicius Ferreira de Souza with John Arne Riise pairing up with Anwar Ali at the back.
Three minutes after the fireworks went up in the sky, the resonation was heard in the stands as a result of Chakraborty’s own goal.
The move was initiated by right wingback Keenan Almeida as he sent Romeo ahead of him. The FC Goa poster boy chested the ball past Zodingliana Tochhawng and played it across Riise who was marking the near post that took a deflection off the Delhi defender before beating his goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh.
A chance in the 12th minute saw Reinaldo’s shot thwarted by Ghosh, and with Romeo being blocked by Tochhwang off the rebound, Moura’s snap unfortunately came off the upright.
Although Malouda and Hans Mulder tried to create some inroads against the home side’s fortress, Delhi had their first chance in the 14th minute that was denied by Elinton Anddrade in a one-on-one situation with Gadze.
Following up with that opportunity, in the 18th minute, Malouda rose highest to a Vinicius cross from left but the ball too rose just a yard above Andrade’s goal.
In the 24th minute, to change the rhythm of the game in favour of the Goans, Jofre Mateu Gonzalez picked Mandar’s run on the left but the latter’s cross was out of Reinaldo’s attempted diving header before Mulder shot wide of the left post on the other side.
Quite a bit was seen happening in the three minutes added to the first half as Andrade tipped an attempt by Anderson Sebastiao Cardoso from the right above the including Reinaldo’s goal to give FC Goa a 2-0 going into the break.
The Brazilian striker was at the right place to knock in Jofre’s sharp free kick which was a result of Vinicius’ foul on the Spaniard at the edge of the box.
Carlos introduced himself as a central midfielder in place of Mulder besides replacing Vinicius by Gustavo dos Santos at the resumption of play.
Zico’s men almost took a three-goal lead by the 51st minute but Reinaldo’s shot went wide of the target after receiving a pass from Jofre.
The Dynamos then put down a host of chances minutes later as Riise was almost sure of curling Malouda’s pass into the right corner but the ball hit the post and hit the post again in the same move when Malouda attempted to head in Gadze’s cross from the left.
A minute after the hour mark Romeo almost put the ball past Ghosh after some good interplay between Reinaldo and Jofre, but the Delhi custodian came off his line in time to effect a save.
Mandar missed a golden opportunity in the 74th minute as he was released in an open area in front of the Dynamos goalkeeper but the Goan lad was unsuccessful to get past Ghosh.
Zico made his first change for the last 10 minutes of regulation time as Moura made way for Jonatan Lucca who, minutes after coming on, was denied by Ghosh diving to his left.
A powerful free kick taken by Roberto Carlos in the dying minutes of the game provided a scare when Andrade almost let the ball slip through his hands but held on to the same just ahead of the goal line.