Hero Indian Super League 2017-18’s first two goal scorers reveal a tiny bit of their lives in a candid chat with FC Goa. 

Mandar Rao Desai‘s father Dattarao Desai always wants to see him score goals. The 25-year-old from Mapusa didn’t disappoint his father and became the first Indian goal scorer in ISL Season 4 during FC Goa‘s 3-2 win over Chennaiyin FC in an away game on Sunday. After their first win, Mandar now wants to go all the way and win the title this season.Excerpts from an interview.

Q: First Indian scorer of ISL Season 4, you must be feeling great!

A: It was important to get the first victory of the season and as such, it was also important for me to score that goal. We won the game and it turned out to be a great start for us.

Q: You dodged the defence well and found yourself in the right place to convert Manuel Lanzarote’s assist. Take us through your practice sessions which reflected in that excellently coordinated goal.

A: We have been working hard since the time we went to Spain. We worked on various formations and techniques. We gave it our best, even in the practice games that we played once we returned to Goa. The combination and link up between our players is really good, and that is what resulted in that goal.

Q: What did your coach Sergio Lobera tell you before and after the game?

A: He just told us not to take any pressure on ourselves and to go out and enjoy the game. He asked us to be excited about the game and try and win it. After the win, like all of us, he was happy too.

Q: How did you celebrate the first win of the season?

A: We were very happy in the dressing room. Everyone was really happy for the three points that we got after our first win. However, this is just the start, we have a long way to go and have to win the upcoming games and at the end of the season, we can celebrate when we’re crowned champions.

Q: Did you call home after the win? What was their reaction?

A: My father always wants me to score goals and he was really happy that I did. My parents were both really happy that I scored. They called me after the game. It’s a good feeling for them and I am also proud of myself.


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“For an away team, we created lots of chances”: Coro

When you have a Spanish forward under a Spanish coach and with more Spaniards in the midfield, you can just sit back and enjoy the magic. Ferran Corominas Telechea, Manuel Lanzarote and Eduardo Bedia Pelaez showed glimpses of that magic at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday afternoon and also helped FC Goa overcome a fighting Chenniyin FC 3-2 in a thrilling encounter. It was also a special moment for Corominas who became the first goal scorer in ISL Season 4 after two draws in the first two days.

In a quick chat after the win, Corominas said that he was more happy with the win than his personal milestone. He was also all praise for his fellow Spaniard Lanzarote, who scored the second goal of the match and local boy Mandar Rao Desai for his clinical finish to put his team 3-0 ahead in the first 45 minutes. Excerpts from the interview.

Q: How does it feel to become the first goal scorer of ISL Season 4?

A: I’m very happy to score the first goal of the season this year and get on the scoresheet but finally what matters is that the team played well and we have three points on the board.

Q: After two goalless draws in the first two days you opened the scoring and your team pumped in two more, what was the gameplan when you took the field?

A: Well, we continued on from the same idea that we’ve been playing with for the past few months and followed our style of play of keeping possession and creating chances. For an away team, we created lots of chances and ended up scoring three.

Manuel Lanzarote’s well placed lob leapfrogged Karanjit and found it’s way under the crossbar.

Q: In the first two games it was seen that the foreign players and the Indian players were not gelling well, but that didn’t look like a problem with FC Goa, your comment.

A: I think fatigue was true for our game too. We are playing in humid conditions and with a lot of heat so it’s only normal that players take on fatigue. The quality of play in the second half wasn’t as high as a result. But the efforts and hard work that we had put during our practice sessions gave us the win. 

Q: A word on Manuel Bruno’s goal, wasn’t that a beauty?

A: Lanza and Mandar’s goals were very important as they gave us the tranquillity of a three-goal lead. Lanza’s goal was one of real quality and Mandar’s was a great counter-attack with a good finish.