A second successive win helped FC Goa climb to fourth on the ISL table as they beat a gritty Odisha FC 1-0 at Bambolim on Saturday.
Igor Angulo scored the winner in the first minute of first half injury time -- a lovely touch setting up a powerful finish after good work from Alexander Romario Jesuraj on Goa's left flank.The goal stemmed from an error from Arshdeep Singh, but the Odisha goalkeeper was on stellar form either side of that mistake to keep the score at 1-0.
Vinit Rai had been handed his first start of the season as Odisha made four changes to their line-up, but with Goa controlling possession completely, he didn't affect the game at all. Neither did the pair of Diego Mauricio and Manuel Onwu up front. Goa made the one change, Alberto Noguera replacing Edu Bedia.
Goa dominated proceedings from the start while Odisha decided to stay compact and absorb the pressure.
Jorge Ortiz, a constant threat on the left flank, had an opportunity to give Goa the lead during the 16th minute. Brandon Fernandes won the ball and threaded a pass for Ortiz on the left. The forward cut inside into acres of space but dragged his shot wide.
As Brandon, Ortiz and Angulo combined well to repeatedly pierce the Odisha defence, the goal came just before the teams walked off the field for halftime.
- Indian Super League: Stream LIVE on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
The second half got off to an interesting start with both sides showing intent.
Odisha pushed hard for an equaliser and came close just before the hour mark. After a counter-attack, the ball fell to Cole Alexander, at the edge of the box, who fired his shot wide.They soon faded, though, while Goa finished strongly.
Goa fashioned two clear-cut opportunities during the 64th minute but Arshdeep produced a stunning double save to keep his side in the game. He first blocked an Angulo snapshot with a reflex save off his leg. The ball was eventually cleared and fell to Princeton Rebello, who found Ortiz outside the box but the latter's powerful drive was met with a superb diving save from Arshdeep. He was it again, with another brilliant denying both Ortiz and Len Doungel in stoppage time.
The result means Odisha, winless in five, remain marooned at the bottom with SC East Bengal. They face Bengaluru FC next on Thursday. FC Goa play ATK Mohun Bagan in a blockbuster clash on Wednesday.