Talking Point: Can SC East Bengal’s domestic players rise to the challenge against FC Goa?

FC Goa will be looking to strengthen their position in the top four of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) when they face SC East Bengal at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday. The Gaurs have drawn their last two games and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league to seven matches with a win against the Kolkata club. SC East Bengal, on the other hand, will be hoping to bounce back with a victory following a loss against Mumbai City FC in their previous match. Here, we have a look at some of the key factors that may have a bearing on the outcome of the contest.

SC East Bengal need to score more goals for wins

SC East Bengal’s seven-match unbeaten run ended with a 1-0 defeat against Mumbai City in their last outing. They’ve netted just 11 times this season and their lack of goals is hindering their semi-final chances and is one of the main reasons for them being second from bottom despite going on a seven-game unbeaten run. They have created 94 chances – the lowest by a team this campaign – and have been involved in six draws. Robbie Fowler’s men need to begin scoring more goals if they are to convert the draws into victories and they must do so soon to keep their slim top four hopes alive.

Alberto Noguera is FC Goa’s unsung hero

While the spotlight has firmly been on the likes of Igor Angulo, Jorge Ortiz, Brandon Fernandes and Edu Bedia, Alberto Noguera has quietly gone about his business in an effective manner without grabbing the headlines. He has created 23 chances for his teammates so far and has provided four assists, putting him behind only Hugo Boumous as far as assists are concerned. The Spaniard is also very confident on the ball and loves to take on players whenever the opportunity arises. He has completed 16 out of 20 dribbles and has an incredible success rate of 80%.

SC East Bengal’s domestic players need to do better

The Kolkata club’s domestic players haven’t had the best of campaigns so far. After 13 games into the season, they still don’t have an Indian goal-scorer and along with Odisha FC are the only two clubs yet to have a domestic goal-getter. Their Indian players have just managed to contribute three assists and need to step up for the team’s cause. Despite having the likes of Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh and CK Vineeth, their Indian forwards are yet to provide an assist, let alone score a goal. Narayan Das’s two shots on target are the joint most by an Indian at the club further highlighting the lack of attacking threat posed by their domestic contingent.

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