Bengaluru FC outplayed by FC Goa, ISL playoffs hopes end

BFC wil miss out on making the ISL playoffs for the first time since their debut in 2017-18.

By Naveen Peter ·

Former champions Bengaluru FC’s chances of making the Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs ended on Sunday following a 2-1 loss to FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.

The Sunil Chhetri-led side had to win its two remaining matches if BFC were to have any chance of making the top four. But after the loss to FC Goa, Bengaluru FC will miss out on the ISL playoffs for the first since making their debut in 2017-18.

Two first-half goals from Igor Angulo (20th minute) and Redeem Tlang (23rd minute) were enough for FC Goa to pocket the win. Suresh Wangjam scored BFC’s only goal in the 33rd minute.

“If you look at the first half, then this is a fair result. If we give away such an easy goal then it becomes difficult,” Bengaluru FC’s interim coach Naushad Moosa said at the post-match press conference.

“After that, we had some opportunities, with a header from Sunil (Chhetri) and Cleiton (Silva) hitting the bar. Not really happy with the result, we could have done much better.

“But, credit to FC Goa. They were a totally different side. They were very compact. They were dropping back and they did not give us enough room. Tactically, they outplayed us.” 

Though the match had a lot at stake for Bengaluru FC, Naushad Moosa said that his team didn’t feel the pressure of playoffs hanging over them when they walked out to face FC Goa. 

“Frankly speaking, we were really not under pressure. We just wanted to come and play because the chances (of making it to the top four) were not much. But yes, we wanted to get the three points,” the Moosa said. 

Meanwhile, for FC Goa, the win over BFC was their 12th straight match without a loss in ISL 2020-21, equaling Mumbai City FC’s streak set earlier in the season. The Goan head coach Juan Ferrando was happy with how his team had improved this season.

Igor Angulo scored his 13th goal of the season to break the deadlock against Bengaluru FC. Photo ISL Media

“We were better in the high press. After 19 games, I think it is normal that the defence improves. Now, we have to continue improving because sometimes we can have problems while defending,” Juan Ferrando said.

Sunday’s win helped FC Goa move to the third spot on the ISL points table with 30 points. With Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United FC close on their heels (both have 27 points), the Spaniard knows that his team couldn’t afford to take the foot of the pedal.

“All the games are totally different. The players need to rest after a tough week to be ready for winning the three points in the last match,” Ferrando signed off.

FC Goa will take on Hyderabad FC in their final league game on Sunday while BFC will face Jamshedpur FC on Thursday.