Match 92 Preview: FC Goa look to end run of draws and boost semis chances against misfiring Chennaiyin
Match 92 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see Chennaiyin FC take on FC Goa at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. Fighting for a permanent place in the top four, the Gaurs need a win to boost their chances after five straight draws. Meanwhile, the Marina Machans will have to beat FC Goa in order to keep their slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive.
In the reverse fixture, Chennaiyin had scored twice to beat the Gaurs. Rafael Crivellaro scored directly from the corner in that match but was subsequently ruled out for the season on account of injury. Since beating FC Goa in December, the Marina Machans have only managed one more win (over Odisha FC), which was also the last time they scored from open play.
Chennaiyin have scored 11 goals this season – the least by any team -- and just one in their last six matches. This was a penalty converted by Esmael Goncalves, who is also their leading goal-scorer (4). Their attacking woes were on display against Jamshedpur FC in their last match as well. Owen Coyle’s side won with just one shot on target as compared to Chennaiyin’s three shots on target. The two-time champions find themselves in this position solely because of their inability to convert their chances.
"We are going to play for our pride. We will just go and try to win these three remaining games because our fans deserve it and our pride is at stake. Sometimes you have a bad period but we have to show that we are alive. We lost the game (against Jamshedpur) in the last minute and this is very painful. But we have to take it and we have to look at the next three games to show that we are still a good team. I hope against Goa that he (Lanzarote) makes the difference in our favour," Laszlo said ahead of the game.
FC Goa, on the other hand, have to work on their defence. Juan Ferrando’s side have kept only two clean sheets this season and the last one came in their win over Jamshedpur FC in mid-January. The Gaurs have not been helped by recurring injuries to their regular centre-back pairing of Ivan Gonzalez and James Donachie either.
The Gaurs have conceded eight goals since their last win and seven of them have been from dead ball situations, highlighting their woes while defending set-pieces. Of these seven goals, four have come from corners. The Gaurs have lost six points from winning positions in their run of draws and they will be desperate to change that on Saturday.
With close competition between NorthEast United FC, Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC for a place in the top four, a win will definitely boost the Gaurs’ chances but they will do well to remember that Chennaiyin are more than capable of spoiling their party. "This team is hard working in all the games. In the end, it's most important that the team has a strong personality and character and they always want to win. When there is pressure, the team keeps going and is always positive. Our mentality is to get three points," FC Goa head coach Ferrando said ahead of the game.
Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra
Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri
Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote
Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves
Goalkeepers: Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Shubham Dhas, Antonio D’Silva, Dheeraj Singh
Defenders: Sarineo Fernandes, Aiban Dohling, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Leander D’Cunha, Mohamed Ali, Sanson Pereira, Saviour Gama, Seriton Fernandes, Adil Khan
Midfielders: Alberto Noguera, Alexander Jesuraj, Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Jorge Mendoza, Nestor Dias, Phrangki Buam, Princeton Rebello, Redeem Tlang, Glan Martins, Amarjit Singh
Forwards: Aaren D’Silva, Devendra Murgaokar, Igor Angulo, Ishan Pandita, Makan Chothe
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 92:
Date: February 13 (Saturday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV