I’m very happy to have helped the team: FC Goa's Noah Sadaoui
On December 10, 2022, Casablanca, a port town in Morocco erupted in joy as they became the first African nation to qualify for the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup. On the same evening, Fatorda, another port town in India did the same as their own 'Casablanca born' - Noah Sadaoui helped FC Goa to get their fifth win as they beat Odisha FC in the Hero Indian Super League 2022-23 on Saturday.
The 29-year-old - who has 4 caps with the Moroccan national team - was happy about his side's performance and shared his thoughts about the win, his contribution in the game, and his compatriot Alvaro Vazquez's role in the team to the FC Goa media team after their 3-0 win against Odisha FC on Saturday.
Noah Sadaoui took the center stage once again as he was involved in all the three goals of the Gaurs, scoring one and assisting two. This performance put Sadaoui in joint-third position in the golden boot race as, having netted five goals so far this season.
“I’m very happy to have helped the team – but more importantly, we worked together and got all three points, and that’s what it’s all about. We want to play more games like this,” said the Moroccan international, who puts the team's target ahead of his own.
The match against Odisha FC was a hard fought one, both technically and physically. The Juggernauts started the game on the front foot and dominated the first half, which is quite unusual for Carlos Pena's FC Goa as they are known for scoring early goals. The Hero of the Match, Sadaoui, recollected the pep talk by the head coach at the half time.
“Coach Carlos (Pena) told us just to keep believing in ourselves. Not always can teams score early, and we were also defending well in my opinion. He also assured us that we’ll get many more opportunities in the second half, which actually happened and we were able to take advantage of those,” Sadaoui explained as the home side turned the goal-less match into 3-0 in their favor.
With this win, FC Goa retained the sixth spot at the end of matchweek 10, registering five wins and four losses in nine games. But the striker was mindful of the fact that the previous two defeats (Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC) in the previous two matchweeks put extra pressure on them before the match against Odisha FC.
"We had lost the last couple of matches and that was a difficult time for us. We also didn’t have a great first half, quite possibly because our confidence wasn’t great at that point in time. But credits to all of us together, because we kept believing, working hard, and following the instructions of the coach,” said Sadaoui whose words reflect their spirited action on the field.
This win was even more special as their target man Alvaro Vazquez opened his goalscoring account in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season. The Spaniard scored eight goals in the previous campaign with Kerala Blasters FC, but is struggling to replicate his performances. Sadaoui was happy to be the one orchestrating Vazquez's first goal of this season.
“Alvaro (Vazquez) is happy that he scored, and we’re also very happy for him. Just like the fans, all of us have been waiting for this moment as well. And what if he did not score before – he had always been doing well and getting the job done for us,” Sadaoui added.
The Gaurs expect more of that Sadaoui-Vazquez combination in the upcoming games as the playoff hopes of FC Goa would be on the shoulders of this duo. The Moroccan international was aware of this expectation and assured that they would give their best for the team.
“He (Vazquez) works really hard, and will score more goals. We all are putting in the best of our efforts for a common goal, the success of our team,” the forward concluded.