Panaji :FC Goa romped to a third straight win against FC Cartagena B in their pre-season tour of Spain at the La Manga club on Thursday. The Gaurs went behind early on but hit back in the first half with three goals through Brandon Fernandes, Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote. The Spanish outfit managed to pull a goal back towards the end of the second half, but an outrageous effort from half line courtesy of Adrian Colunga in stoppage time saw the Goan side come away with a 4-2 victory in their last match in Spain.
Sergio Lobera’s players started the game brightly and kept possession of the ball early on. However, it was the Spanish side that took a lead against the run of play in only the 8th minute. It didn’t take long for the Gaurs to fight back though, as Brandon Fernandes finished a superb cross from Coro only four minutes later to bring his side level. Brandon became the first Indian goal scorer on the pre-season tour. The Goan outfit then continued in the same vein as they looked to keep possession and find a way past the Cartagena defense which was beginning to tighten up. Just as the game was meandering towards a first half stalemate, it kicked back into life as Coro pounced on a loose ball and promptly put the ball past the keeper to send FC Goa into the lead. Only three minutes later, Manuel Lanzarote who had netted three goals in pre-season already, notched up yet another to make it 3-1 to the Gaurs to become the highest goal scorer for FC Goa in pre-season.
Both teams made a host of changes to test out their bench strength ahead of the second half. It was a more open encounter in the second period with both sides creating chances but were unable to capitalize on them. The Goans settled into the game however and began to dominate once again. Yet again though, it was Cartagena that scored against the run of play to reduce the deficit to only one goal. As the game headed towards a close finish, Adrian Colunga spotted the goal keeper off his line and audaciously lifted a shot from the half line over the keeper’s head and into the empty net to restore the Gaurs’ two goal lead. Not long after, the referee blew the whistle for full-time.
After a successful pre-season in Murcia, the Gaurs will return to Goa and will play three more friendly games before the start of the fourth season of the Hero Indian Super League.