Liston Colaco, Ishan Pandita eye comebacks to set up Final date with fans

Goa, March 13: A chance to shine in front of his home crowd should be motivation enough for Liston Colaco as he looks to put his best foot forward when ATK Mohun Bagan take on Hyderabad FC again in the second leg of the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League semi-final, aiming to reverse a 3-1 defeat in the first instalment.

The Indian Super League announced on Saturday that they will allow fans back in the stadium after a gap of two years.

Colaco, born in Davorlim near Margao in South Goa, is the Indian highest goalscorer this season with 8 goals to his name. The 23-year old pacy winger has had a stellar season and would want to crown his performances with an ISL trophy in front of his own fans at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda.

"It's motivating when the fans are here to support the team. Not only because I am Goan but for every player, fans play a big part. I really hope we can make the finals and play in front of the supporters," Colaco said after the defeat against his former side Hyderabad on Saturday. It is fans who drive the players to raise their level when the chips are down during the course of 90 minutes and it is these footballers who have been missed the most.

Ishan Pandita, another rising star in Indian football who recently won the League Shield with Jamshedpur FC echoes the sentiment.

"It's going to be a massive final. We are getting the fans back, finally. We want to be representing Jamshedpur in front of the fans," said the 23-year old who has scored 3 goals coming off the bench so far for the Men of Steel, earning a reputation of a super sub. Jamshedpur lost 1-0 to Kerala Blasters FC in the first leg of the first semifinal on Friday.

The PJN Stadium in Fatorda, which hosted two back-to-back finals without fans, will be brimming with the roar and chants we are all used to as a packed stadium that will await both finalists.

 

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