LA MANGA (SPAIN):
A closely fought encounter saw the Gaurs down Spanish Tercera division side 2-1 at the La Manga Club in Spain. The Goan club is on a winning streak as goals from Spaniard Miguel Palanca and Hugo Boumous secured the Indian Super League (ISL) Club’s fourth straight pre-season victory.
FC Goa started the game in their usual style, controlling the play and moving the ball around sharply. Despite being in control, a lack of concentration gave the Spanish side a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute. The Gaurs’ custodian Laxmikant Kattimani could do nothing about a wonderful strike from Mar Menor’s striker, as the Gaurs were now left to fight back from a goal down if they were to have a chance of winning the game.
The ISL side regained their composure and maintained their discipline. In the 16th minute, the Gaurs managed to equalize through new signing Miguel Palanca. Hugo Boumous made a good run down the flank and put in an exquisite ball to Palanca who placed it in the back of the net to draw his side level.
A few minutes later FC Goa came excruciatingly close to taking the lead when Mandar’s shot cannoned off the crossbar. Hugo was once again the creator-in-chief as he played a great ball to Mandar, but the local boy was unable to give his side the lead.
The Gaurs were able to capitalize on their dominance when, in the 30th minute, Boumous recovered the ball in the attacking third and single-handedly dribbled passed 3 defenders to give his team a 2-1 advantage. It was a fantastic move from the Moroccan midfielder.
The Goan side had a glorious opportunity to take a two-goal advantage when a penalty was awarded to them in the 63rd minute. It was Hugo again who was in the thick of things as he was brought down in the 18-yard box. The midfielder stepped up to take the penalty himself, but his shot was saved by Mar Menor’s goalkeeper.
There was not much action after the penalty as the Gaurs managed to hold on to their slender advantage and claim yet another impressive victory in pre-season.
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