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FC Goa top 2015 ISL table after beating Delhi Dynamos in thrilling encounter

Photo Courtesy: ISL's official website
Photo Courtesy: ISL’s official website

FC Goa managed to finish at the top of the 2015 Hero ISL after beating Delhi Dynamos 3-2 in an absolutely thrilling match that saw Zico’s side pinch the winner right at the death.

Although strikes from Serginho Greene and Adil Nabi saw Delhi go 2-0 before the break, a quick brace from Romeo Fernandes levelled the scores, before Jofre pinched the winner for Goa in the 90th minute.

Delhi Dynamos head coach Roberto Carlos made seven chances to his side that drew against Kerala Blasters, with Sanjiban, Robert, Anwar, Souvik, Robin, Vinicius and Gadze replacing Subhasish, Anas, dos Santos, Sehnaj, Mama, Mulder and Adinga respectively.

FC Goa coach Zico, on the other hand, opted to go with five chances as Andrade, Denson, Bikramjit and Dudu made way for Arnolin, Kattiman, Sabeeth and Leo Moura respectively.

The first chance of the game arrived in the 11th minute, when Dynamos attacker Adil Nabi, after finding some space outside the box, tried his luck from distance. However, his shot did not trouble Goa as it was wide of the target.

Delhi got another chance in the 22nd minute, when Vinicius’ delivery from a corner found Anwar. The defender managed to connect with a header, but he was unable to direct the ball goalwards.

Six minutes later, Delhi midfielder Malouda picked out Vinicius with an excellent through ball, but the Portuguese miscued his finish and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.

The hosts finally went ahead at the half hour mark, when a free-kick from Malouda was guided into the back of the net by Serginho Greene.

Goa nearly went further behind in the 38th minute after a clearance from Pronay hit Robin Singh and the ball went past goalkeeper Andrade towards goal. However, the Brazilian just managed to just prevent the ball from crossing the line. Robin looked scandalised but the linesman did not award the goal.

The visitors, however, did not have to wait long to double their lead as Nabi soon found the nets in the 40th minute. Richard Gadze, after doing well to hold the ball inside the box, teed up Nabi, who had made an excellent run towards goal. The Ghanaian striker, in the end, made no mistakes as he easily slotted ball past Andrade, after taking one touch to control the ball.

Six minutes into the second half, Delhi goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh made a good save to deny Dudu, who managed to fire a powerful effort, after collecting an excellent through ball from Jofre.

A couple of minutes later, Dude and Ghosh were again in the thick of action as the latter did brilliantly to come off his line and smother the ball away from the former, who had moved into a very dangerous position inside the box. The ball eventually fell to Reinaldo, who immediately fired an effort, but Riise was able to clear the ball off the line.

Just before the hour mark, Nabi sent an excellent pass towards Vinicius and the Brazilian was able to fire an effort after moving into the box. However, Elinton Andrade was able to make a good save to deny the Brazilian.

The visitors were finally able to pull one back through in the 68th minute. Reinaldo whipped the ball in from the left towards Fernandes, who cut in from the right, before smashing the ball into the top corner of the net.

A couple of minutes later Fernandes struck again to make the scores level. A quick counter from the visitors resulted in Jofre releasing Reinaldo down the left flank. The Brazilian striker, after blazing in to the box, slid the ball to Fernandes, who found the back of the net with the simplest of tap ins.

Goa, who were now completely dominating the game, nearly went ahead in the 72nd minute, when Reinaldo picked out Dudu with a good pass inside the box. The Nigerian fired an effort on the turn, but Ghosh was able to make a save.

Moments later, a horrible mistake from Ghosh (who fumbled an easy catch) resulted in Dudu finding the nets. However, the goal was ruled out as the linesman had already raised his flag for offside.

Delhi created their first real chance of the second half in the 81st minute, when Robin sent a good cross into the box from the right. Nabi managed to connect with the incoming delivery, but he was unable to guide the ball home as his effort only found the side netting.

With three minutes remaining on the clock, Delhi got a golden opportunity to go ahead after Dos Santos sent a beautiful lofted ball towards the far post. Gadze connected with a header, but his effort was wide.

Zico’s side finally grabbed the winner in the 90th minute through Jofre, who showed excellent composure to round up Ghosh and slot the past calmly past a defender on the goal line.

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