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ISL 2023-24: Carlos Martinez Helps FC Goa Pip Punjab FC 1-0 – News18

The lone goal scored by Carlos Martinez managed to help FC Goa secure the win against Punjab FC. (Image: FSDL)

The match between FC Goa vs Punjab FC was decided by the lone goal scored by Carlos Martinez helping the Goan side secure a close victory.

 FC Goa opened their campaign in the 2023-24 edition of the Indian Super League as the Gaurs secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Punjab FC at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Monday.

Spanish striker Carlos Martinez opened his goal-scoring account in the league early on in the first half, and his strike ultimately proved to be the sole difference between the two sides.

The clash kicked off with energy as both teams vied for an early lead. In the 7th minute, a precise long ball from the midfield found Martinez, who headed it forward to Noah Sadaoui, who, however, miscued his final shot on goal.

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The breakthrough came in the 17th minute when Raynier Fernandes executed a clever one-two with Carl McHugh and set up Martinez with a perfect through-ball. The striker capitalised on the opportunity, making a run forward and finding the target.

Manolo Marquez’s boys continued to create opportunities, with Brandon Fernandes delivering a great cross in the 45th minute, volleyed on target by Noah Sadaoui, only to be denied by Punjab’s goalkeeper Kiran Limbu.

The second half witnessed relentless action as well, as both teams exchanged possession of the ball in phases. In the 50th minute, Raynier Fernandes sent in a long cross from the left edge of the pitch, finding Jay Gupta, who narrowly headed it wide of the mark.

The Gaurs remained on the offensive, combining their efforts through Brandon Fernandes and Noah Sadaoui, but the latter’s attempt off a cross from the captain in the 51st minute went off target.

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In the 65th minute, Noah Sadaoui made a valiant attempt to extend FC Goa’s lead as he latched on to a long ball from midfield and manoeuvred past two defenders, but ultimately missed the target.

The game continued to test both teams’ resilience, but the Men in Orange held their ground, ensuring they carried their early lead to victory. A late surge by the visitors created some tension among the home fans in the dying minutes, but ultimately it was the Gaurs who took home the three points to open their account on the ISL points table.

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