ISL: FC Goa end 2020 on a high as historic year beckons

FC Goa are set to become the first Indian club to play the AFC Champions League in 2021.

By Utathya Nag ·

FC Goa ended 2020 on a winning note after coming from behind to beat Hyderabad FC 2-1 in the last Indian Super League (ISL) match of the calendar year.

The win also means the Gaurs will head into the new year in the top four of the ISL points table behind ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC.

FC Goa are also set for a historic year ahead. The Orange brigade will be the first-ever Indian football club to play in the AFC Champions League - Asia's top tier club football competition.

They earned their Asian slot after finishing top of the table at the end of the league phase in ISL 2019-20 and consequently winning the inaugural ISL Shield.

After a goalless first-half on Wednesday, the FC Goa versus Hyderabad FC match livened up in the second period. It was Hyderabad FC who broke the deadlock through an Aridane Santana goal.

The Nizams looked in control but FC Goa turned the tables in the final few minutes. Super-sub Ishan Pandita scored the equaliser in the 87th minute with what was basically his first touch in the match.

Star striker Igor Angulo netted the winner in added time to complete the comeback victory.

Gaurs' Spanish head coach Juan Ferrando reserved special praise for both his goal scorers but expressed a little concern about his teams' slow starts.

“I am extremely happy because everybody is working very hard in their positions. But it is necessary to start the games with more personality and more character and not react only after going down by a goal,” Ferrando said after the match.

Even in the last match against Jamshedpur FC, Goa conceded first and had to rely on a late Angulo goal to pick up all three points.

Angulo, in fact, has been sensational for FC Goa in ISL 2020-21 and currently leads the Golden Boot race with nine goals to his name.

Brought into the FC Goa team to replace Ferran Corominas - ISL's all-time highest goal scorer - Angulo has stepped into the ISL legend’s shoes brilliantly.

The former Athletic Bilbao player's form will be pivotal for the Gaurs in 2021 in their bid to make into the ISL semi-finals this season.