Riding on braces from Hugo Boumous and Ferran Corominas on Wednesday, FC Goa drubbed Hyderabad FC 4-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Panaji.
With the win, the Gaurs remain the top with 33 points from 16 matches and became the first team this season to confirm qualification for the playoffs. Meanwhile, Hyderabad remain at the bottom of the table with six points.
From the very beginning, Goa were dominant but failed to find the back of the net. However, their attack finally paid off in the 19th minute. After Brandon Fernandes’ corner-kick was cleared by Mathew Kilgallon, the ball fell to Mandar Rao Dessai who attempted a long-range effort from outside the box. The left-back scuffed his shot but Boumous slammed home the loose ball from inside the box.
The Gaurs doubled their lead as Boumous completed his brace and eighth goal of the season just five minutes after the restart. He picked up the ball on the left flank, dribbled into the box unopposed and curled a shot into the corner of the net.
The first half ended with Goa well on top, but the Gaurs had immense energy to deliver after the break and seal the game in their favour.
In the 64th minute, Marcelinho Pereira executed a free-kick strike to perfection to keep Hyderabad in contention, but Goa were too good to take the match away.
The hosts regained their two-goal cushion within minutes as Corominas opened his account and the Spaniard soon completed his brace from 12 yards, putting the final nail in Hyderabad’s coffin.
(With inputs from IANS)