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Preview, Match 59: Hosts Goa look to overturn Delhi deficit and enter the final

14 December 2015ISL Media Team
Preview, Match 59: Hosts Goa look to overturn Delhi deficit and enter the final

FC Goa host Delhi Dynamos FC in their all-important second-leg semifinal of the 2015 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Tuesday. Delhi go into the match with a one-goal advantage after Robin Singh’s lone goal in the first leg handed the Lions a 1-0 win. The match is tantalisingly poised with the final in sight for both sides. A draw will be enough for the Lions to make the semis, however,  a loss by a margin of one goal will mean that the fixture will head into extra time with the dreaded penalty shootout beyond if the teams are still tied on aggregate in the absence of the away goal rule. Goa, on the other hand, will have to register a win with a two-goal margin to cement their berth in the final. Delhi Dynamos FC have no fresh injury concerns but FC Goa are looking over their shoulders over the fitness of Raju Gaikwad and Reinaldo.

Form Guide (Last 5 games):

FC Goa: L-D-W-W-L

Delhi Dynamos FC: L-W-D-L-W  

Head-to-head: These two teams have met five times out of which FC Goa have won four times and Delhi Dynamos FC just once. 

Lucio vs Robin Singh

Lucio will be crucial for FC Goa on Tuesday with the Gaurs hoping for a shutout after Delhi’s 1-0 win in the opening leg. The Brazilian will have to be on top of his game with Robin Singh and co. waiting to pounce on any mistakes made by the Goan backline. Lucio will be hoping not to have a repeat of the first leg when he was outjumped by Robin for the only goal of the game. The veteran Brazilian will also be hoping to have more say in the final-third.

One of the standout performers of the first leg, Robin Singh’s goal proved to be the difference in that match. Robin’s presence in the penalty area caused all sorts of problems for a Goan backline consisting of the likes of Lucio and Gregory Arnolin. The 25-year-old striker will be spearheading the Lions frontline on Tuesday and will look to replicate his first leg showing where he terrorised the Gaurs defence with his power and clinical finishing ability. 

Leo Moura vs Florent Malouda

Goa will be hoping that Leo Moura returns to form after the 37-year-old failed to assert himself in the first leg. Moura was played out of the game at the centre of the park with Florent Malouda and Chicao dominating the game. The Gaurs will be looking for a big-match performance from their midfield maestro who has provided eight assists so far.

Florent Malouda, like Moura, will be looking to better his first leg exploits. The Frenchman has attempted more crosses (57) and provided more assists (8) than anyone from his side. Malouda could have given his side a two-goal advantage when Shylo played him through on goal in the second half. The Frenchman failed to hit and will be looking to put in a stellar performance for Delhi to set things right.   

Joffre vs John Arne Riise

With doubts over Reinaldo’s participation, Joffre will have to shoulder the responsibility of being Goa’s most lethal threat up front. The Spaniard has been Goa’s brightest spark in the final third and he also scored the winner against the Lions in the 3-2 win in the final game of the league stage. Joffre’s low centre of gravity and vision on the ball makes him one of Goa’s go-to players in big-match situations. He also has the experience of winning the league with Atlético de Kolkata last season.

A picture of calmness at the heart of defence, John Arne Riise was solid as usual in the first leg. The Norwegian defender has been a leader at the back for Delhi this year and has the requisite big-match pedigree to see the Dynamos into the final. Riise has urged his fellow team-mates to remain focused after the first leg and is likely to be a key player at the back. He has made 27 blocks and 26 interceptions, more than anyone from his team and also has a passing accuracy of 90%. 

Squads:

Delhi Dynamos FC: Antonio Doblas Santana, Sanjiban Ghosh, Ishan Debnath, Thokchom Naoba Singh, Prabir Das, Roberto Carlos [marquee], John Arne Riise, Robert Lalthlamuana, Anas Edathodika, Anwar Ali, Anderson Sebastiao Cardoso [Chicao], Shylo Malsawmtluanga [Mama]. Sehnaj Singh, Souvik Chakraborty, Hans Mulder, Serginho Greene, Zodingliana Tochhawng, Gunasekhar Vignesh, Florent Malouda, Gustavo dos Santos Marmentini, Seminlen Doungel, Robin Singh, Richard Gadze, Adil Nabi, Vinicius Ferreira de Souza

FC Goa: Elinton Sanchotene Andrade, Luis Barreto, Laxmikant Kattimani, Lucimar Da Silva Ferreira [Lucio] [marquee], Gregory Arnolin, Luciano Sobrosa, Keenan Almeida, Nicolau Colaco, Raju Gaekwad, Debabrata Roy, Narayan Das, Joffre Mateu Gonzalez, Leonardo da Silva Moura [Leo Moura], Jonatan Lucca, Denson Devdas, Pronay Halder, Bikramjit Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Romeo Fernandes, Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira, Rafael Coelho, Macpherlin Omagbemi Dudu, Thongkhosiem Haokip, Victorino Fernandes, Joaquim Abranches, CS Sabeeth.

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