Goa host ATK as they continue playoffs quest in final home game of topsy-turvy campaign
Written by: ISL-Indian Super League
The Gaurs got back to winning ways last time out against Pune City and will look to build on that success.
One of the most entertaining outfits in Hero ISL history will be aiming for nothing less than three points to get their season back on track. As for ATK, the Kolkata outfit have not won in seven matches -- six of them being losses.
The best ATK can do is finish eighth, if they win both their matches and the teams below them don't match their results. The team don't have injury concerns apart from Ryan Taylor, but confidence is certainly low. However, they have nothing to lose and their assistant coach Bastab Roy said that it would make for good watching.
"We don't have any psychological edge -- in fact, the situation is not in our favour. But it will be a good open match for the spectators," he said.
He would not be drawn into the details of what had gone wrong for the side: "This is not the right time to discuss what went wrong. That will be after the season. Something is going wrong in the last 15-20 minutes and FC Goa is a well-balanced team and in the run for the top four. So it's a tough task and we will give our best," he added.
FC Goa are riding high after beating a strong Pune City side 4-0. Most of their top performers clicked on the night -- with Ferran Corominas scoring a brace while Manuel Lanzarote and Hugo Boumous also got on the score-sheet.
"If we can do it like last time, then great -- but we have to tick a few boxes to win. We have to play good football, try and keep a clean sheet and do multiple things right. We don't want to just win in any manner," FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said.
"We are at a stage where the game tomorrow is very important for us. We fought a lot to reach here and at this moment in time, (qualification) still lies completely in our hand. Hopefully when the two next games are done, our fans will be happy that their team will be competing in the semifinals," he said.
Lobera also reminded his team that all the records and performances of the past won't matter when they clash again on Wednesday.
"Tomorrow is a new scenario," he said.
FC Goa 0 – 3 ATK (6 Draws)
Mandar Rao Dessai (FC Goa)
The 25-year-old winger has been a major influencer of attacks in the Goa squad. His speed down the flanks has outfoxed many an opposition, and his precise crosses and incisive passing have created innumerable openings for his team. He has two goals and three assists to his name and will look to create an impact against visiting ATK.
Robbie Keane (ATK)
The Irishman, despite having an injury-prone season, has been the top scorer for his team. He has used his experience and goal-poaching skills to good effect and has scored some eye-catching goals with his clinical finishing. Keane has four goals to his name and will look to bag some more when ATK visits Goa.
Sergio Lobera will most likely go with a 4-2-3-1 formation to supply width to the midfield, as Goa would surge forward.
Goalkeeper: Naveen Kumar
Defenders: Narayan Das, Bruno Pinheiro, Sergio Juste, Mohamed Ali
Midfielders: Hugo Boumous, Brandon Fernandes, Pronay Halder, Mandar Rao Dessai, Manuel Lanzarote
Forward: Ferran Corominas
Goa head coach on the season so far and the road ahead: "We fought a lot to reach this point, where qualification at this moment depends on us completely. We have a lot of excitement and we really believe in finishing the work that we started a few months ago. Hopefully, when the next two games are done, our fans would be happy as we would hopefully be competing in the semi-finals."
Ashley Westwood will probably counter with his own 4-4-2 formation, allowing enough movement in the midfield to aid both attack and defence.
Goalkeeper: Soram Poirei
Defenders: Keegan Pereira, Jordi Montel, Ashutosh Mehta, Prabir Das
Midfielders: Bipin Singh, Conor Thomas, Hitesh Sharma, Jayesh Rane
Forward: Robbie Keane, Martin Paterson
ATK assistant coach Bastab Roy on their opponents of the night: "FC Goa is a good and well-balanced side. They are still in the run for the top-four. So, it is an uphill task for us and we will try to give our best."
- Goa have scored the most number of goals this season (34), while ATK have scored the second-least (14).
- Goa are yet to defeat ATK in Hero ISL history.
Mumbai City FC 4 – 0 Delhi Dynamos FC (29th December 2017 at the Mumbai Football Arena).
Form Guide (Last five matches)
Delhi Dynamos FC: W D W D L
Mumbai City FC: W W L L W
Published: Tue Feb 27, 2018 09:42 PM IST