Both the sides come into this match having failed to register a victory in their last three games.
The last three games have been forgettable for FC Goa. The Gaurs are going through a rough patch with just one point from three matches, having scored only one goal in the process. They are currently fifth in the table, two points behind Jamshedpur FC. NorthEast United are also going through a similar slump in form, with three draws in three games. Eelco Schattorie’s men are third on the table, but have been left frustrated by successive draws. Both the sides will be looking to end their slump when they face each other and thereby, end the third phase of the ISL on a very bright note.
Sergio Lobera (FC Goa)
FC Goa have scored only one goal in three matches. Sergio Lobera addressed the issue straightaway. “Fundamentally, we haven’t been scoring goals. We need to learn from our mistakes and improve from our last game. We need it to serve as a lesson for us for the rest of the games that remain.”
Against ATK, an unfortunate penalty decision went against the Gaurs. “We need to work on the details of the game that will ultimately depend on us, the details we can control ourselves. The ones we can’t control, it is not something we can work upon. In the other games also, we have seen errors made in terms of refereeing. A few decisions have gone against us. But ultimately, we have to work on aspects we can control and leave the rest to the others,” the gaffer explained.
He talked more on his side’s inability to score. “At the back, when a mistake is made, the whole world is critical. But, if the same mistake is made in attack, the world does not see it in the same light. What worries me more is the fact that we have scored only once in the last three games, rather than how many we have conceded at the back.”
Ferran Corominas’ recent slump in form coincides with the Gaurs’ lack of goals. “Coro is an important player, not just because he scores goals. He has scored eight goals, but he also has five assists. If you look at how many players have similar number of goals and assists, you won’t find a lot,” the former Barcelona youth coach concluded.
Eelco Schattorie (NorthEast United)
Eelco Schattorie’s team have been plagued by injuries. He calmly explained the situation. “We started the season with 22 players, at the moment I have 17. From the 17, two players are questionable. In the last two weeks, we have played five games. From that period, we have got some injuries. Goa lost their last game, which puts them under pressure. For us that’s good. But, at the same time, I am more worried looking at my own team.”
Under him, the Highlanders have seen a remarkable turnaround in form. He explained his philosophy that caused such a change in the team. “I worked a lot on two things. First is, we want to work hard together and second is we have good defensive organization. I think we are the second-best defence in the league. Within that system, I try to utilize the individual qualities as good as I can.“
He continued on the fine run of form his team has gone through this season in the Indian Super League, “We as a team, if you look at the limitations and the resources we have and the position that we are at right now, have done a very good job. But, at the same time, we still haven’t won anything. Where we are now is a really good achievement and we hope to continue that. Especially in the last period of five games, we survived that without any losses. What we have achieved till now, I can be proud of my players and even myself.”
“The most important thing in football, in my opinion is stability. If you make three or four changes, I believe it never gives you success. You need to make less possible changes unless someone is underperforming. But, if somebody is not performing for one or two games, that does not mean you have to change him right away. You see certain qualities in that player, so you need to also give a certain amount of trust,” the Dutch gaffer concluded.
FC Goa – No injury or suspension concerns are there at present for FC Goa.
NorthEast United– Augustine Okrah is unavailable for the Highlanders against the Gaurs.
FC Goa: Nawaz, Seriton, Fall, Ali, Mandar, Jahouh, Lenny, Bedia, Boumous, Brandon, Corominas.
NorthEast United: Pawan, Reagan, Grgic, Komorski, Keegan, Borges, Leudo, Gallego, Tlang, Khwalhring, Ogbeche.
Did You Know?
- NorthEast United are yet to win an away match against FC Goa. The Gaurs have won two of the four meetings between the two sides, with the other two matches ending in a stalemate.
- The match will also see a race for the Golden Boot for this year. Both Corominas and Ogbeche have eight goals this season and will be looking to gain an advantage in this fixture.
- The last time the two sides met in Goa, the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Mandar Rao Desai and Corominas scored for the Gaurs.
The match will take place tomorrow at 7:30 pm at the Fatorda Stadium in Madgaon. On television, the match will be broadcasted live on Star Sports network. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and JioTV.