THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

FC Goa gun down Delhi Dynamos FC 3-0 to enter the ISL final

MacPherlin Dudu Omagbemi celebrating his goal for FC Goa

FC Goa scripted their maiden Hero Indian Super Leaue (ISL) final appearance crushing Delhi Dynamos FC 3-0 in the second leg of their semifinal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Margao, Goa, on Tuesday evening.

Jofre Mateu Gonzalez (11’), Rafael Coelho Luiz (27’) and MacPherlin Dudu Omagbemi (84’) were the goalscoring heroes for the Goan franchise who were backed by a deafening home support. Adil Nabi was given the marching orders by referee Pranjal Banerjee due to the Delhi player’s indiscipline on the bench after he was already substituted.

The Goans could not have asked for a better start to the clash where their favourite team had to win by at least two goals as FC Goa began with a fierce intention to attack that was reflected in Zico’s first 11.

Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai were deployed on the wings, Rafael and Dudu in attack. Raju Gaikwad, Narayan Das, Reinaldo and CS Sabeeth made way for them while Bikramjit Singh replaced Jonatan Lucca in the midfield.

Roberto Carlos named an unchanged starting lineup from the first leg of the semifinal that Delhi had won by a solitary goal scored by Robin Singh on Friday.

All the above named FC Goa players went all out in the attack along with Jofre and Leo Moura. They had the first chance in the seventh minute when the Spaniard’s shot ricocheted off John Arne Riise although Rafael’s picking of the same didn’t end up in anybody at the receiving end of the cross.

A long delivery by Moura in the 10th minute was headed down by Rafael but Jofre ended up slamming his shot over the bar but in the next minute he cut past Riise with ease to find the back of the net at Antonio Doblas’ left near post off Pronay Halder’s long ball. 1-0.

With the semifinalists’ score-line level on aggregate, Romeo missed an opportunity after another of his attempt that was blocked by Riise and punched away by the Delhi goalkeeper fell back for him in the 23rd minute.

In one of the rare chances that the Lions had in the first half, Nabi shot wide after a pass was slipped through towards him by Sehnaj Singh before the Dynamos were pinned under pressure with FC Goa’s goal that followed.

In a move that was started by Jofre in their own half, Mandar lofted the ball diagonally from the left flank for Rafael who was up against Riise who was beaten once again as the Brazilian rammed the ball in the far corner in the 27th minute.

Riise’s woeful game ended right there as Hans Mulder was brought on to aid Delhi’s cause after which the away team marginally saw more of the ball.

A cross from Robert Lalthlamuana on an occasion had Florent Malouda strolling in an onside position but the Frenchman took a hasty shot off which FC Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani got a touch to concede a corner.

The adrenalin was running high as Rafael suffered rough challenges at the end of the first half by Chicao and at the beginning of the next one by Anas Edathodika.

In search of the third goal that could help the Goans breathe easier, Dudu got past Sehnaj in the Delhi box in the 53rd minute. However, the Nigerian’s cross for Jofre had the latter’s shot denied by a reflex save by Doblas before Moura rushed in but only to shoot wide.

Carlos played another card in the form of Richard Gadze replacing Nabi while Zico introduced Jonatan Lucca in place of Rafael in the 63rd minute.

Delhi maestros Gustavo dos Santos Marmentini and Malouda did not have anything easy on the evening and Kattimani was behind everything that was aimed at the Goan goal.

FC Goa had every reason to celebrate after they breached the opponents net for the third time in the 84th minute. After Dudu’s shot was blocked, the rebound was blasted by Bikramjit and palmed away for a corner by Doblas.

Moura took the resultant flagkick from the left and Jofre did all that was required to cross the ball at the far post to Romeo who served the ball on the platter as Dudu was there to slot it home in the 84th minute.

The gates at the Fatorda stadium will be opened once again for FC Goa on 20 December 2015 in the fight for the title of the ISL 2015.

The hosts who will face the winner from the second semifinals between Atlético de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC that will be held on Wednesday where the southerners are leading 3-0 on aggregate from their first leg victory.