FC Goa head coach Zico talked about unavailability of key players due to pre season problem..

FC Goa on Thursday night lost 2-0 to Chennaiyin FC at Marina Arena as they failed to register their first win of the campaign even in their third attempt. They now face a Herculean task as they hope to make the play-off stages of the third edition of the Indian Super League tournament.

Goa coach Zico admitted his frustration over his players’ performances but pointed toward their last season’s revival that saw them reach the finals despite salvaging just five points in the first seven league games. Although his men have lost all three games – against NorthEast United, Pune City, and Chennaiyin – he remains optimistic, surprisingly.

“I am not crazy,’ said Zico. “Of course, I am not happy with the team. In the first round of the first season, we just got five points, but we reversed it in the second round as got into the semi-finals. This season has just begun, and nothing is lost. We can still work. The ISL almost deducted 15 points from us; nine is right there.”

Zico bragged about his players’ wizardry and their ability to create chances out of nowhere prior to the kick-off in Chennai, but they hardly registered any shot on target in front of the vocal Chennaiyin crowd. When quizzed about the same, he said, “I think it was a game of few opportunities. Chennai also had only a few opportunities, but they converted two of the three shots they had on goal. We had few opportunities but couldn’t score. If you see the highlights of the game, you can see that both teams didn’t have many opportunities.”

Mehrajuddin Wadoo was fortunate to see his cross undergo a deflection before it beat Laxmikant Kattimani for Chennaiyin’s second goal. However, Hans Mulder’s goal was a stuff of champions. The Brazilian legend refused to give credits to the home side, stating they were fortunate to find the back of the net on Thursday.

“Regarding the Chennai goals, one was even going out of the post; it deflected off some player and then became a goal. We are passing through a hard situation now and nothing is going right for us now, but we are going to work hard and try to reverse it,” the Goa manager said.

Goa failed to bring back their personages from the last season, and Zico admitted that the absence of Leo Moura, Pronay Halder, and the likes is costing them the results. With their attempts to bring in a goalkeeper – citing Subhasish Chowdhury’s mysterious injury – midway through the season ending in vain, he now cannot afford to dream of bringing in top class outfield players.

“Of course, we suffer a lot [because of not beinging key players back]. Leo Moura was supposed to sign with us, but his club in Brazil didn’t accept in the final moment. We lost our key players from our squad that we had in mind to retain because of all the problems we faced last season. Lucca, (Thongkhosiem) Haokip, Pronay (Halder). These were key players we wanted but, because of the situation, we couldn’t sign. We have to do the best with what we have,” signed off Zico.

Goa travel to Kolkata on Sunday night to face third-placed Atletico de Kolkata, who are one of the three teams to still remain undefeated in the tournament.

Photo © ISL Media