Fares Al Arnaout saves the day for Carlos Pena


FC Goa finished their season on a good note. Defeating Hero Indian Super League (ISL) winners ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0. In the Hero Super Cup final group stage at the EMS Corporation Stadium later on Tuesday.

Fares Al Arnaout, a Syrian newcomer, scored the game’s sole goal in the 88th minute to propel Goa to second place in Group C, ahead of ATKMB.

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando rested several of his starting players, including creative midfielder Hugo Boumous and captain Pritam Kotal. Lalrinliana Hnamte made his debut in the tournament. Carlos Pena, the head coach of FC Goa, rested Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and handed Arshdeep Singh his maiden start.

With little at stake, the game turned out to be a dull affair, despite FC Goa being significantly superior than their opponents. With some individual brilliance, forward Noah Sadaoui attempted to produce some magic for the Goa side up front. On multiple times, the ATK Mohun Bagan defence struggled to keep him in check.

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Devendra Murgaonkar found Sadaoui in space at the 81-minute mark, but the latter sent his shot over the crossbar.

In the 88th minute, the stalemate was eventually broken. Vishal Kaith, the ISL Golden Glove winner, was unable to handle a curling corner whipped in by Noah Sadaoui.

Fares Arnaout broke the deadlock one minute before the conclusion of normal time when Sadaoui drifted into a corner from the right side and Kaith took his sight off the ball entirely. Fares was in the right place at the right moment, heading it into an empty net to give the Gaurs three points.

Manvir made a marauding run in the second minute of stoppage time before unleashing a shot that went straight into the palms of Arshdeep. The Mariners had one final chance to equalise on a corner kick, but the FCG custodian came up big again, effortlessly collecting Petratos’ corner ball.

Fares Al Arnaout scored into an empty net to make it 1-0.

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