With two wins under their belt Indian Super League outfit FC Goa have qualified for the knockouts of the Durand Cup. Last day they defeated I-League side Sudeva Delhi 2-1 in a rather dominant fashion to proceed to the quarterfinals.
The Gaurs were handed the lead by talented youngster Muhammad Nemil. The Kerala born midfielder came up with a scorching effort from long range to beat the Sudeva custodian and handed FC Goa a very crucial lead.
FC Goa was impressed by Nemil when he came on from the bench and featured against Army Green. Therefore the Spanish tactician handed him a start and the youngster did not disappoint. The 19-year-old midfielder plied his trade in Spain for lower division outfit UDA Gramenet’s U19 team. He has also featured in another Spanish outfit known as Fundacion Marcet. The Reliance Foundation Youth Champ graduate has really grown into a big sensation in Indian football.
Nemil’s goal had a touch of class in it as he cut back on his right on the edge of the box and made space for himself before pulling the trigger with his left leg. The ball went swerving in and thundered into the roof of the net.
The match was very dull before the opening goal. While FC Goa enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession but Sudeva defended really well to frustrate their ISL counterparts. The Delhi based outfit also came close to scoring in the second half when Michael Singh’s shot struck the woodwork.
Later in the game Ferrando introduced Edu Bedia and Jorge Ortiz, handing them their first appearance of this season. The Gaurs doubled their lead through Ortiz but it came at the cost of him being injured. He was tripped down by Sudeva Delhi midfielder Akbar Khan in the process. Therefore despite scoring, Ortiz was stretchered off the ground.
Later club officials have revealed that Ortiz will not take part in the Durand Cup anymore due to injury. But there are questions over his return as some people feel that he may miss the start of the upcoming Indian Super League season. It is a big blow for the Gaurs but they will hope that the Spaniard returns to the pitch soon.
The match ended on a sour note as Sudeva Delhi pulled a goal back as the Gaurs conceded a penalty. William Pauliankhum stepped up to take it and finished it with relative ease.