Days before the start of the fifth season of Indian Super League (ISL), India cricket captain and co-owner of FC Goa, Virat Kohli, released a video on Twitter in which he said that his team is determined to clinch their first title. “We have chosen the colour orange this year for the jersey, which represents our fire, our focus and our hunger to win this trophy. The colour is our team attitude and the team spirit,” Kohli said in the video.
— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) 25 September 2018
After missing on the title back in 2015, FC Goa will look to make the most out of this opportunity as they finally have everything in place. They progressed to the final after earning an emphatic 5-1 win over Mumbai City FC in the first leg, which made the second leg a mere formality.
Here is FC Goa’s road to the ISL 2018-19 final:
NorthEast United vs FC Goa (2-2 draw)
NorthEast United denied FC Goa from getting off to a winning start as they were held to a 2-2 draw in their opening fixture. The Highlanders opened the scoring but Ferran Corominas scored twice to hand Goa one-goal advantage. However, Nigerian professional footballer Bartholomew Ogbeche found the back of the net in the opening ten minutes of the second half to spoil the party for the Gaurs.
Chennaiyin vs FC Goa (3-1 win)
FC Goa earned their first win of the season in their second fixture against Chennaiyin FC at the Marina Arena in Chennai. The lethal Goa attack that comprises Edu Bedia, Ferran Corominas and Mourtada Fall found their names on the scoresheet as they guided Gaurs to a comfortable 3-1 win at the end. Eli Sabia scored a consolation goal for the hosts right at the dying moments of the game.
FC Goa vs Mumbai City (5-0 win)
In their third fixture, the Gaurs mauled Mumbai City to earn their biggest win of the season. Corominas opened the scoring for the hosts as he successfully converted a spot-kick in the 7th minute. The home supporters got to witness one goal in the opening 45 minutes but Goa changed the composure of the game in the second half as they went on to score four goals. Jackichand Singh doubled the advantage for the hosts in the opening ten minutes of the second half and Edu Bedia soon netted the third at the hour mark. Substitute Miguel Fernandez then scored twice in the final ten minutes helping his team to sail through a comfortable win.
Jamshedpur vs FC Goa (4-1 defeat)
After thrashing Mumbai 5-0 and then FC Pune City 4-2 in the same week, Goa tasted their first defeat of the season against Jamshedpur FC. Michael Soosairaj’s brace and goals from Memo and Sumeet Passi helped Jamshedpur secure a comprehensive 4-1 win against Gaurs.
FC Goa vs NorthEast United (5-1 win)
After enduring their heaviest defeat of the season, Goa tried to bounce back and went on to secure two consecutive wins against Delhi Dynamos FC and Kerala Blasters. But they could not maintain their winning streak as they went down 2-1 against Bengaluru FC. They were then held by ATK for a goalless draw and then went down 2-0 again but this FC Pune City took away all the three points.
However, Goa finally found their rhythm back when they locked horns against NorthEast United at home. Corominas struck twice and goals from Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous, and Miguel Palanca helped Goa claim an easy 5-1 win over the Highlanders.
FC Goa vs Chennaiyin (1-0 win)
It was like a walk in the park for FC Goa in their final league match as Corominas scored the solitary goal in the 26th minute to guide his team to a 1-0 victory. Despite ending with equal points, FC Goa had to be content with the second position as Bengaluru had a better head-to-head record.
A total of seven goals were scored in both the legs of the semifinal match between Goa and Mumbai City and the Gaurs eventually marched off to the finals with a 5-2 aggregate scoreline. The first leg was played at the Mumbai International Arena and Goa silenced the home supporters by mauling the hosts after netting five away goals against them. The second leg was quiet as compared to the first and Goa ended up on the losing side. Despite securing a 1-0 victory, Mumbai failed to make it to the finals of the tournament.