Fatorda, Goa: Though they managed to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games, Hyderabad FC’s playoff dream came to end after they were held to a goalless draw by FC Goa at Fatorda on Sunday. The result meant that Hyderabad finished fifth on 29 points after 20 games, just two points below Goa who claimed the final play-off berth.
The much-awaited game failed to provide goals or clear chances for either side as Goa looked happy to break up Hyderabad’s passing, and play on the counter. Hyderabad did get a couple of set-pieces, but they failed to make the most of those chances to test the FC Goa backline all night.
Fran Sandaza, with his quick feet, Joel Chianese, with his pace and Souvik Chakrabarti, with his midfield grit, all played well for Manolo Marquez side, who needed a win to stay alive in the competition.
But the teams went into the break on level terms, and came out in similar fashion. Hyderabad pressed high, won the ball a couple of times and put pressure on the likes of Adil Khan at the back. However, enough bodies at the back from Goa meant that HFC failed to test Dheeraj Singh on goal for most of the game.
The additions of Liston Colaco, Roland Alberg, Sahil Tavora and Rohit Danu, late in the game saw Hyderabad push players forward in search of that all important goal. Liston and Alberg combined on the right to create the best chance of the night but there was no one in blue to turn it home.
A flurry of free-kick and corners from Hyderabad in the final third were not good enough to find the back of the net as Manolo’s side could not find a way to steal all three points.
This was the eighth clean sheet for Hyderabad, who lost just three games all season. But the 11 draws they registered seem to have cost them a place in the play-offs.