The Brazilian praised the spirit of his players in what has been a tough season…

FC Goa sealed a thrilling come-from-behind win over NorthEast United in the Indian Super League on Friday. Romeo Fernandes scored a dramatic winner in the fourth minute of added time to hand the Gaurs a 2-1 win on home soil. Speaking to the media after the game manager Zico praised the spirit of his players who nicked the win even after going down to 10 men,

The Goans set an ISL record by starting with nine Indian players due to a series of injuries and suspensions and speaking on the subject Zico said, “Of course, for the development of Indian football, it would be much better to have more Indians in the squads. It is important to have foreigners but it also important to have more locals and fewer foreigners. I want you to know that I do not chose players based on their nationalities. I chose who are playing better.”

The Goan outfit are still bottom of the table but the win over the Highlanders keeps them just about still in contention for the playoffs and their manager stated his team will fight until the last game to make the top four.

“We are just showing here that we are not inferior to anyone. We have problems. The players are conscious about our difficulties but they gave their everything and they gave this gift to the fans who deserve it.”

Commenting on the balance of the game he added, ““We didn’t play better as they (NorthEast) had a lot of opportunities. As in the other games, we had a lot of opportunities. Even against NorthEast over there (Guwahati), we had opportunities but we lost (2-0). There, Subrata [Paul] was the best man on the pitch. Today it was [Laxmikant] Kattimani’s day.”

Indeed, the shot-stopper who met the press alongside the legendary Brazilian said that the players had been working hard since the first day and that the team was pleased to have got their first home win of the season. Asked if he was under extra pressure after his error had gifted NorthEast United the opening goal in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign Kattimani said, “It was my mistake in the first game, but I got over it. I was focussed on this game and now I am looking forward to the next one.”

Picture © ISL Media

Report by Khel Now-Content Editor Mrunal Nakashe. You can follow him on Twitter.