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ISL Analysis | FC Goa outclass passive Kerala Blasters

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ISL Analysis | FC Goa outclass passive Kerala Blasters

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SportsCafe Desk


FC Goa continued their domineering run in the ISL with a whopping 5-2 win over Kerala Blasters on Saturday at the Fatorda Stadium. Kerala’s fearsome and foolproof defence was breached as many as five times today, with forwards Manuel Lanzarote and Ferran Corominas scoring goals for fun.

Are FC Goa the Manchester City of ISL?

The Indian Super League has never been dominated this way since its inception. Sergio Lobera’s side have been sweeping away every team they are facing with no opponents capable of making them sweat. They might not be at the same level as the Premier League leaders Manchester City, but their free-flowing style of play and ability to execute it to perfection, surely reminds one of the Pep Guardiola’s side.

What makes them so special is not their overseas players, Lanzarote and Corominas, who have been weaving past their opponents now and scoring goals for fun, but the magical composure that we get to see at the feet of Mandar Rao Desai, Narayan Dasand Mohammed Ali. The brand of football that Lobera has successfully indoctrinated in his team in the very little time that he has got, is remarkable.

FC Goa ran a riot against Kerala Blasters today, who have boasted of the league’s best defence so far. They were reckless in their approach and dominated the yellow army with a passing accuracy of 77%, attempting a whopping 21 shots on target and forcing five of them in. Though the Gaurs look unstoppable at the moment, their team’s success cannot be reduced to the brilliance of just two players.  

Kerala let down by their biggest strength - Defence

Rene Meulensteen did his homework diligently before coming into the game. FC Goa had destroyed Bengaluru FC in the last game, who didn’t keep a high-line leaving a huge chunk of space between their backline and midfield. Goa exploited that space throughout the game with Bengaluru hardly able to stop them. Kerala didn’t want to commit the same mistake and kept a high-line to stop Goa way before they reached Kerala’s box.

However, what they didn’t do well was they couldn’t press well at the important positions. With Berbatov limping off in the early minutes of the game, Kerala knew that they wouldn’t be able to create more chances with less of the ball at their feet. Hence, they started zonal pressing in the attacking third with the likes of Jackichand Singh, Courage Pekuson, Arata Izumi, and Loken Meitei. They even won the ball in some dangerous positions which resulted in them creating some chances.

However, it was their defence that let the visitors down. After the ball was passed onto the Goa’s front four - Lanzarote, Corominas, Mandar and Brendan Fernandez, there was no pressing whatsoever. Kerala waited for those four to build-up till they came within 30 yards of their goal, before they would go out to close down. While the tactics have worked effectively in the history of the game, Kerala just couldn’t contain Goa’s incessant attack, who were exceptional in taking their chances.

The Showstopper

What a signing Ferran “Coro” Corominas is turning out to be! After single-handedly destroying Bengaluru FC last week, the Spaniard was at it again although anyone watching the first half would not have seen it that way. Coro was mostly anonymous in the first half, apart from his interception that set up Lanzarote’s second in the first half. 

However, he was back in the second and how! In a matter of nine minutes, in which he touched the ball just four times, Coro completed an impressive second treble in consecutive weeks. The 34-year-old put the hosts ahead early in the second with a brilliant finish at the near post. He followed it up with a beautiful chip before getting at the end of Lanzarote cross to complete his hattrick. But it isn’t just his goals that make him a special player.  As a forward he had an impressive 82% passing accuracy because of which he created an astonishing 5 chances. If Lanzarote is the brains behind the team, Coro is most certainly the heart that keeps the Goa machine going. 

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