Talking Point: Can Khalid Jamil continue working his magic for NorthEast against FC Goa?

NorthEast United FC will be looking to register a fourth consecutive win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they take on FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Thursday. The Highlanders are in a rich vein of form and can leapfrog Goa in the standings with a win against them. However, the Gaurs are unbeaten in their last seven matches and won’t be an easy opponent to overcome. Both sides are tied on 21 points in the league table and the winner of Thursday’s clash between the two teams will be in a promising position for a finish in the top four. Here, we have a look at a few of the talking points ahead of the match.

Khalid Jamil inspiring NorthEast’s turnaround in fortunes

The Highlanders have been a completely different outfit ever since Gerard Nus’ departure as head coach and Khalid Jamil taking over as their interim head coach. The 43-year-old has won three consecutive games with the Highlanders – the team’s best-ever winning run in Hero ISL history – and have beaten the top two teams in the league during this run. They seem to be more organized and compact at the back than they were earlier in the campaign and are executing Jamil’s gameplan to a tee. All their wins under Jamil have been courtesy of 2-1 scorelines after the Highlanders had gone ahead and then defended their lead resolutely to earn the three points. They will be hoping for more of the same against Goa.

Igor Angulo’s welcome return to form

Igor Angulo ended his three-match barren run in front of goal when he scored during Goa’s 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal last time around. The Spaniard is now the leading scorer in the league with 10 goals and has accounted for 52.63% of Goa’s goals, highlighting the Gaurs’ reliance on him. Angulo has netted in seven games for Goa so far and his side have never lost a match that he has scored in. His return to form will be a welcome boost for an attack that has struggled to score from open play of late. Goa’s only goal from open play in their last three games, in fact, has come from Angulo, who will have a big role to play against NorthEast.

Deshorn Brown’s emergence for NorthEast   

Deshorn Brown seems to be enjoying a new lease of life and form ever since he joined the Highlanders last month. The Jamaican forward netted a match-winning brace against Mumbai City FC last time around and is now a far cry from the striker that struggled to get going during his time with Bengaluru FC earlier in the campaign. Brown has scored three goals since joining NorthEast and looks like a completely different challenge for opposition defences to contend with. His shot accuracy of 66.67% is the best among any NorthEast United player with more than one shot.

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