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Top 5 things to expect in the ISL final
Written by: Sabin Castelino
The fixture on Sunday will see two of the league's most prolific teams take on each other for the top prize.
As the ISL final comes closer to kick-off, Bengaluru FC and FC Goa are gearing up in earnest to claim supremacy in the fifth edition of the league.
It has been a long road, with three breaks and a season stretched over a period of six months, but the league stage finally came to an end to result in the two- legged semis, which have given us our finalists this year. Goa and Bengaluru, are both two-time finalists, but while the Gaurs have made it to their second final in five seasons, the Blues have done it for the second consecutive season.
We look at five things to expect from the game on Sunday evening:
5. Bengaluru and Goa will look to go one better
After having nearly been champions last time around, Goa and Bengaluru, both faced catastrophic defeats to Chennaiyin FC at their own home grounds. Their losses weren’t expected and had sent their fans and even one set of owners into meltdown.
But, this time around, they would be happy to appease the ghosts of finals past and win it at a venue neutral to both. Although, Goa has had a better result in Mumbai, Bengaluru cannot be counted out despite their recent dip in form.
4. It is likely to be a goalfest
If there's something different to this final as compared to all the others in the past, it is the fact that it has two of the most prolific teams the ISL has ever seen.
Goa are relentless in their forward momentum, while Bengaluru can get scoring in the 73rd minute and still put three goals past a superb opponent. This ensures a goalfest at the Mumbai Football Arena come Sunday and both teams will look to capitalize on it.
3. Wingers will have key roles to play
If anything, Jackichand Singh’s season has been a redefining hallmark of Goa’s campaign and the reliance of Bengaluru on Udanta’s pace to break out on counter-attacks or to initiate attacks has been well-documented.
This clearly puts wing play as the most used weapon for both teams. With Seriton Fernandes repeatedly pulling of Marcelo-esque attacks and Nishu Kumar and Rahul Bheke whipping in amazing crosses, even the auxiliary wingers will play a major role in their team's strategy.
2. Miku and Corominas will look to outshine each other
Both strikers are at their peak. Both are out to prove that there is no wall out there to dent their scoring form. Miku and Ferran Corominas will view this match -up as the potential tie-settler to prove who the best goalscorer is.
The prospect of this happening is a delight for both sets of fans as well as the neutral supporters. If these two players get into gear, the goalfest promised will be the greatest the ISL has ever seen in a final.
1. If Bengaluru unlock Goa, it might be a Sunil Chhetri show
The Bengaluru captain has had another consistent and awe-inspiring season. The concept of age being just a number has been proven in the truest way by him. His love for the team and for scoring gooals has been seen and has been inspiring people across generations.
If the Benagluru midfield are able to unlock the Goan defence, we are sure to see a gameplay dictated by the Blues' skipper, who will set the fireworks going on his old hunting ground, Mumbai.
Published: Fri Mar 15, 2019 03:16 PM IST