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Sports


FC Goa scripted history to secure a spot in AFC Champions League

Jamshedpur, Feb 19 (UNI) FC Goa scripted history by becoming the first-ever Indian club
to secure a spot in the AFC Champions League group stage following a 5-0 win against
Jamshedpur FC in their final Hero Indian Super League group stage clash at the JRD
Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
Ferran Corominas (11'), Hugo Boumous (70', 90’), Jackichand Singh (84’) and Mourtada
Fall (87’) made it a five-star affair for Goa as they also became the first-ever side to record
50 ISL league wins.
They also broke their own record and ended the league stage with 46 goals - an all-time
high.
The win ensured that Goa finished the league stage as toppers with 39 points from 18
matches, claiming the Hero ISL League Winners Shield in the process. Jamshedpur
finished their season eighth with 18 points.
With the top spot and an AFC Champions League group stage entry at stake, Goa started
the game on a positive note. There were no signs of complacency and it took the visitors just
10 minutes to break the deadlock.
Boumous initiated a counter-attack for his team after Mobashir Rahman missed his kick
from a Jamshedpur corner. The Goa midfielder set Corominas free into open space and
with the Jamshedpur defence caught unawares, the striker executed a fine finish into the
net past goalkeeper Rafique Ali.
Jamshedpur, who were playing for pride after having lost out on a playoff spot, were
unwilling to sit back after going behind. Davide Grande missed a sitter in the 26th minute
as the hosts took Goa on. From an attack down the left flank, Sumeet Passi crossed into
the box for an unmarked Grande at the far post but the striker hit it wide from close range.
The tempo of the game was slower after the restart. Ahmed Jahouh nicked the ball off
Monroy in midfield and fed Corominas who charged at the defence. The striker laid the
ball off for Doungel whose shot had to be deflected by Memo Moura.
A brilliant effort by Boumous nearly doubled Goa's lead after the hour mark. The
Frenchman dribbled towards the edge of the box from the left flank before hitting a
terrific shot that ricocheted off the woodwork.
Boumous, who has been in supreme form this season, provided the much-needed
second goal in the 70th minute. Boumous dribbled into the box from the centre, found
Doungel to his left who chipped the ball right back into the path of the in-form attacker
who smashed the ball into the net from six yards out.
With Jamshedpur looking tired, Goa added three more goals towards the end of the
game to script a fitting finish. Boumous picked up his 10th assist of the season with a
good through-ball for Jackichand who lobbed the goalkeeper and found the net. Minutes
later, a chipped cross from the left flank by Edu Bedia found Fall who nodded the ball
into the net to make it 4-0.
Then, Boumous picked up the ball from the left flank late on, dribbled towards the
byline, beating a couple of defenders in the process, and found the net from a narrow
angle to score Goa's fifth goal.
The Gaurs will be awarded the League Winners Shield in their home leg playoff game.
UNI XC-BM
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