Talking Point: Can ATK Mohun Bagan end their goal-scoring struggles against FC Goa?

ATK Mohun Bagan will be looking to bounce back with a win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they take on FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. The Mariners lost their last match to Mumbai City and will be eager to make amends against a Goa team that they have already beaten once this season. However, the Gaurs are unbeaten in their last four games and will head into Sunday’s clash with confidence. Goa will also know that a win against the Kolkata club will see them rise above the Mariners in the standings and here are some of the factors that can decide who emerges victorious.

Jorge Ortiz Mendoza steps up to share goal-scoring burden

Even though Goa’s top-scorer this season Igor Angulo wasn’t on the scoresheet in their last game, the Gaurs still registered a comfortable 3-0 win over Jamshedpur FC. Granted that Angulo started the match on the bench but by the time he came on the pitch, Jorge Ortiz Mendoza had already won the game for Goa with a brace. Mendoza proved that he can be a match-winner as well should Angulo have a bad day at the office. He’s netted four times so far and is only behind Angulo, who has nine goals to his name. The sharing of the goal-scoring burden by the Spanish compatriots bodes well for Goa and stands them in good stead for the second half of the campaign.

Goal-shy ATK Mohun Bagan

However, goal-scoring is starting to become a massive issue for ATK Mohun Bagan in Hero ISL 2020-21. Despite being second in the standings, the Kolkata giants have struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis from the start of the campaign. They are the joint lowest scorers in the league with Chennaiyin FC having netted just 10 goals so far. The Mariners have failed to score in two of their last three games and have attempted just four shots on target in that time. Their last five matches, in fact, has seen them score just once from open play. They also have just three different goal-scorers in the team and need their other players to start contributing in the opposition box.    

Brandon Fernandes continues to shine as a playmaker

Brandon Fernandes was highly influential during Goa’s win in their last match as he registered his third assist of the campaign, taking his overall tally in the league to 18 assists, which puts him second only to Hugo Boumous on the Hero ISL’s all-time assist leaderboard. The Indian playmaker was at his fluent best against Jamshedpur as he created four chances. Overall, Brandon has created 30 chances – the second most by a player in Hero ISL 2020-21 – behind only Facundo Pereyra (31) who has played a match more. Brandon has also demonstrated his consistency and versatility this season despite playing in three different positions.

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