Delhi squander 2-goal lead, lose to Goa in ISL

Delhi squander 2-goal lead, lose to Goa in ISL
FC Goa rallied in a remarkable fashion from a two-goal deficit to beat Delhi Dynamos 3-2 in their last round match of the Indian Super League football to jump to the top of points table here today.

Delhi led 2-0 at halftime through goals from Serginho Green (31st) and Adil Nabi (40) but Goa responded brilliantly in the second half through a double strike by Romeo Fernandes (68th and 69th) and a late winner by Joffre (90th).

The win by Goa in the last match of the league phase of ISL 2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium today took them on top of the points table ahead of defending champions Ateltico de Kolkata with 25 points from 14 matches.

Interestingly, today's rivals will take on each other in the home and away semifinals as Delhi ended fourth with 22 points from their 14 league matches. Delhi ended on same points with Chennaiyin FC but the Roberto Carlos-coached side have inferior goal difference of minus two as against 10 of the Chennai-based side.

Atletico de Kolkata will play against Chennaiyin FC in the other semifinals as the two teams ended second and third respectively in the points table.

For Goa, today's win also put them in an advantageous position as they will play their second leg match of the semifinals at home.

For Delhi, it was a sort of disappointment as they could not notch up a win at home for the
sixth time on the trot though today's loss was the first here this season. They had notched up just one win at home this season -- a 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC in their first home match on October 8.

All the other five home matches of Delhi had ended in stalemates. Delhi had better record away from home as they won four times on the road as against three losses.

FC Goa, however, indicated that they may field the best available team to finish on top of the table.

"In our way of thinking, we will field the best players available, although a clear picture will emerge only after the (final) training session. Since the tournament is very short, we will want the best players not to get injured ahead of the semifinals," FC Goa assistant coach Fernando Vannucci said during the pre-match media briefing.

The assistant coach, however, made it clear that the club had achieved its initial target of making it to the play-offs and now the competition would get even tougher.

"We are now looking to be first or second so that we can have the advantage of playing the second game at home. In a tournament like the ISL which is so well balanced, we cannot choose any opponent. Every opponent is good and we respect all of them. You must not forget that last year, the final was played between the third and fourth placed teams," said Vannucci.

FC Goa will miss the services of Brazilian midfielder Leo Moura who picked up his fourth booking in the last game and remains suspended for the clash against Delhi.

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