Noah brace, Jay stunner enough for FC Goa to defeat Lobera’s Odisha

Margao: FC Goa won against a team managed by their former coach Sergio Lobera for the first time, and not surprisingly it needed a special effort from Jay Gupta.
The defender struck in the sixth minute of second-half added time with a terrific left footer that found the top corner as Goa defeated Odisha 3-2 in a high-octane clash at the Nehru Stadium, here, on Saturday.
It looked like the teams would be forced to settle for a draw when Mourtada Fall scored for the second time to equalize for Odisha after Noah Sadaoui’s brace. But 22-year-old Jay had other ideas.
Odisha surged ahead early in the game through Fall, who scored from a corner-kick.
But Goa responded well in the second half as Noah (55’, 68’) first converted a penalty and then netted his second with a sublime finish. Even as Fall struck again nine minutes from time, Jay made sure Goa walked away with three hard earned points.
Goa’s second consecutive win helped them move to the second spot, while Odisha are fifth with four points after three games.
Goa had early control but were stunned in the sixth minute when the visitors broke the deadlock through a set piece. Lalthathanga Khawlhring sent in a precise corner and Fall did what he does best, pouncing on the opportunity.
Goa regrouped well and had most of the ball possession, but their opponents were compact and did not allow Goa’s lone forward, Carlos Martinez, any space.
It was not until the half an hour mark that Goa rattled Odisha, through Carl McgHugh’s header that struck the crossbar. Then Udanta Singh went close and Brandon Fernandes’ attempt from inside the box hit a pile of bodies.
Goa started the second half earnestly as Noah tried to split the defence open, but Carlos’s attempt hit the side-netting.
However, in the 52nd minute, Noah stormed into the box again and won himself a penalty after a challenge from Ahmed Jahouh.
The Moroccan calmly sent Amrinder Singh the wrong way from the spot, but the referee ordered a retake after intrusion. Noah didn’t lose his cool and, once again, sent the goalkeeper the other side.
Odisha wanted something out of this game and Lobera made it clear when he introduced attackers, Diego Mauricio and Aniket Jadhav, at the hour mark.
It were Goa, though, who surged ahead, thanks to a gift. Mawihmingthanga couldn’t handle a back pass from Lenny Rodrigues, and Noah not only intercepted it, but also placed the ball beyond the reach of a helpless goalkeeper.
With nine minutes left to be played, Fall scored his second of the game, again from a corner, and again with his right foot. Respecting the Goa fans, he refused to celebrate.
The Goan fans, though, could not hide their joy in the sixth minute of added time as Jay, almost out of nowhere, finished with a curler when it was least expected.

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