Zico dedicates dramatic win to Goa fans
FC Goa ended their 2016 Hero Indian Super League campaign on a good note after beating outgoing champions Chennaiyin FC 5-4 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday. The match ended as the highest-scoring game in the history of the league with Goa coming from behind thrice before eventually winning the game deep into stoppage-time courtesy of a spectacular strike from super-sub Sahil Tavora.
Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, Goa head coach Zico expressed his happiness at finally being able to send their loyal fans home happy. “Football deserves this kind of experience and emotion, and I am very happy. I want to thank the fans that came to support us. I told the players at half-time that we have got to respect these fans who have come here to support us, so we have got to go out there and do our best, and again I told my players that football finishes only when the referee blows the final whistle. I told them if we keep our cool, we can win and that's what happened today,” Zico said.
Commenting on his future and if he will be back on Indian shores next season, Zico said: “I don't have any proposal from other teams. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the owner and the president of the club. We will pass the assessment report for the season. We will also discuss what the future holds for us. So I really don't need to sign anything as I keep my word. I told them that I have had three years here, I just now need to know what their plans are for the future, so we need to sit and talk about it. We need to sit and talk as we will have to look at the new season with a new format. Many decisions were not taken properly this year, so we need to see what we did wrong and how we can make amends.”
Match-winner Sahil Tavora also accompanied the legendary Brazilian to the press conference. The 21-year-old scored a brace for the Gaurs, including the winner after coming off the bench to cap off a memorable night in Goa. Summing up his experience of his debut season, Tavora said: “It has been a great experience for me and it has been a great learning process and it is a stepping stone for me and I have learnt so much from different situations, and every day I try to learn as much as I can from the coach and the technical staff, and do what they instruct me to do. I am glad my entire family was here and I am happy that I could share this wonderful moment with them and I am very happy.”
The youngster also admitted that he had learnt as much from his ups as from his downs, referring to his sending off against NorthEast United FC last month. “I think for me this is a great stepping stone and I am one of the young players in the side and it has been a great learning process for me under the coach and I have learnt a lot from the downs as much as I have learnt from the ups,” Tavora said.