Goa aim to break Odisha’s dominance at Kalinga Stadium
FC Goa will be on the road to face off against Odisha FC in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Odisha are yet to drop a single point at their designated home venue, since moving there, but Goa represent a tough hurdle considering the Gaurs' scintillating form this season.
Odisha have won all three of their outings at the Kalinga Stadium and have looked ruthless on their home ground to say the least. However, having lost their last match away to Bengaluru at the Sree Kanteerava, Josep Gombau's men's position in the top four is under threat by the chasing pack and it'll be paramount that they pick up all three points to keep up their charge heading into the final few matches of the league phase. While a win will help them open up a four-point gap with the chasing pack, anything less would be a severe dent to their semi-final hopes this season.
Injuries to Aridane Santana and Marcos Tebar were huge blows for Odisha against Bengaluru, with the Spanish duo having to be taken off before half time. Santana, the team's top scorer this season with nine goals, has already been ruled out for the remainder of the season and his absence will be felt. The club, however, has acted swiftly to rope in Manuel Onwu on loan from Bengaluru and will hope the Spaniard can fill the void left by his fellow countrymen at the tip of the Odisha attack.
Tebar, meanwhile, is the club captain and the leader of the young side, running games from midfield. It will be imperative that the backroom staff gets him fit as soon as possible.
Vinit Rai's return from suspension will be one positive Odisha fans can look forward to with the youngster playing a crucial role in the midfield this season.
Their backline will be in for a severe test against an all-star Goa attack but will be severely depleted, considering right back Shubham Sarangi and defensive mainstay Carlos Delgado will be suspended for the tie.
The Gaurs come into the contest on the back of a thrilling 3-2 win over Kerala Blasters FC in their last outing and will be desperate to secure all three points from the contest in a bid to keep the pressure on table toppers ATK and fellow top spot aspirant Bengaluru FC.
Goa possess the best attack in the league, having scored a massive 28 goals in 14 matches so far. Despite top scorer Ferran Corominas having been unable to get on the score sheet in Goa's last two outings, the Spaniard has been heavily involved in the team's build up play. Hugo Boumous has strived in his support striker's role this season, scoring six and assisting four in his 10 matches already. Wingers Jackichand Singh and Brandon Fernandes, too, have been in fine form with impressive attacking returns.
Goa, however, will be without midfield lynchpin Ahmed Jahouh in the contest owing to a suspension. The midfield maestro's absence will be a little concerning, particularly for the defence, which has looked shaky of late, particularly away from home. In their last five matches, Goa have conceded nine goals - the same number they did in their first nine.
The first goal in the contest will be crucial. Both teams are undefeated this season so far in the matches they have drawn first blood, with Odisha winning all five and Goa winning eight and drawing one.
Odisha FC: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK), Gaurav Bora, Mohammad Dhot, Narayan Das, Diawandou Diagne, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai, Xisco Hernandez, Martin Guedes, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Manuel Onwu
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Mourtada Fall, Seriton Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai, Brandon Fernandes, Jackichand Singh, Lenny Rodrigues, Manvir Singh, Hugo Boumous, Ferran Corominas
Did you know?
- In 4 matches this season against the top 3 of Bengaluru, ATK and FC Goa, Odisha are yet to score.
- FC Goa have conceded 13 goals away from home, only 2 teams have conceded more.
- Odisha have conceded 4 goals at home, joint least by a team this season.
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 69: Odisha FC vs FC Goa
Date: January 29 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV