Bengaluru are clear favourites but we are here to win the game- Sergio Lobera
The Gaurs will be dependent on their star striker Ferran Corominas as they take on Carles Cuadrat's side.
FC Goa will be representing an entire state when they take on Bengaluru in the ISL title clash. The dominance of this side in the Indian Super League can be seen as this is the second final they are going in to and also have the highest goal tally this season.
Sergio Lobera was in a jolly mood as he spoke to journalists in Mumbai during the pre-match press conference. He was quick to emphasise, "whatever has happened in the past, is in the past. We faced them in the league stage, but the final will be a completely different game."
He also acknowledged Bengaluru's effect on the finale saying, "Looking at the two games we played in the league stage, Bengaluru FC are the clear favourites. But we are here to win the game."
In his humility, Lobera also admitted, "It's true that my side hasn't scored against them, but we are excited about the final and we are looking forward to playing in it." But was quick to point out the importance of team play over individuality saying, "People talk about individual players and the battle between the coaches, but it would be the best team who will win the game."
Lobera was then asked about the important players in his side but he downplayed it saying, "to be honest, I don't think so. All the players know that they are important for the team and the team."
He then commented on the camaraderie between the two Catalan head coaches, who will be facing off in the finale saying, "I have heard it many times, and it is probably because we both come from Barcelona. But when I came here, I focussed on playing attacking football and have been keen to put that philosophy into the players."
He then stressed on the important aspect of the game tomorrow from the coaching point of view saying, "I think tomorrow tactics will be important. But moreover, the psychological factors will come into play. The players handling their emotions while playing in the final would be key."
The questions were then directed at Ferran Corominas who kept it simple when asked about his most important goal this season saying, "Hopefully tomorrow, I score the most beautiful goal of the season."
In a concluding note, Lobera was asked whether the league leaders should be the winners as opposed to the current format of playoffs, he said in jest first, "If you would ask me, I would say that the team with the best goal difference should be the winner."
But then he added more seriously saying, "But every team knows the format of the tournament before they start the tournament and they have to play accordingly and plan the season."
His final war cry to his team was, "Tomorrow we are going to touch glory or we are going to die."
Bengaluru have Erik Paartalu out of the game due to the injury sustained earlier in the season.
FC Goa have no injury issues and will have a full squad for the game.
Gurpreet (GK), Juanan, Serran, Bheke, Harmanjot, Nishu, Dimas, Chhetri, Xisco, Miku, Udanta.
Naveen (GK), Seriton, Pena, Fall, Mandar, Lenny, Jahouh, Bedia, Brandon, Jackichand, Corominas.
Did You Know?
- Goa have three players in the top five passers of the league - Ahmed Jahouh, Edu Bedia and Lenny Rodrigues in the same order.
- Gurpreet leads the Golden Glove rankings, having conceded once every 90 minutes.
- FC Goa have the most clean sheets in the league - 8.
The match will take place on Sunday at 7:30 PM at Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai. On television, the match will be broadcast live on Star Sports. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Published: Sat Mar 16, 2019 05:01 PM IST