FC Goa and Bengaluru FC will play their respective last matches before the upcoming international break in the ISL when they lock horns at the Fatorda Stadium on March 14, 2024, at 7:30 pm IST.

The Blues come into this game on the back of a two-match-long winning streak. They have tasted victories against Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters FC in their previous two clashes, taking them to 21 points, i.e. on level terms with the sixth-placed Jamshedpur FC.

However, the eighth-placed Bengaluru FC has played a game fewer (18) than the Red Miners (19), and hence points from this game will take them straight into the top-six, fending off competition from Jamshedpur FC and Punjab FC (21).

The Gaurs, contrastingly, have 33 points from 18 encounters and are positioned at the fourth spot in the standings. They can get to 36 points with a win, which will equal the tally of the second-placed Mohun Bagan Super Giant, but that also depends on the result of the match between the Mariners and Kerala Blasters FC tonight.

That is regardless of the fact that the Mariners have done so in merely 17 games. FC Goa still can sustain pressure at the top and try to challenge for the League Winners Shield, especially after finding some stability in remaining unbeaten in their previous three games. 

What’s at stake?

FC Goa

Historically, the Gaurs haven’t fared well against Bengaluru FC. The Blues have beaten them seven times in the ISL. FC Goa looked in imperious touch against Punjab FC amidst their 3-3 draw on Monday, though.

With Carl McHugh, Noah Sadaoui, and Carlos Martinez netting once each, the team recorded their 54th instance of scoring thrice or more in an ISL match, which is the highest by any team in the history of the competition.

In contrast, Bengaluru FC has done that only 25 times in the ISL. Even their last two wins have come through slender margins, i.e. 2-1 against Hyderabad FC and 1-0 against Kerala Blasters FC.

The Gaurs have been lethal from corners, with McHugh notching the opener through that against Punjab FC. They have scored four goals from corners in ISL 2023-24, which is only behind Odisha FC (6) in the current campaign.

Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC has defeated FC Goa twice away from home in the ISL over the years, and a win here will equal their record of most victories on the road against any side in the competition (NEUFC – 3).

Contrastingly, the Blues are winless away from home in their previous nine matches. They have drawn thrice and lost six times in the meantime.

A similar result here will lead to Bengaluru FC’s longest such winless run in the ISL. The Blues have scored the second-least goals in the competition this season, joined by Chennaiyin FC at 18 and followed by only Hyderabad FC at nine.

They perhaps need to explore different opportunities to find the back of the net.

For example, they are yet to score from a corner in this campaign, something that should be a cause of concern given that they have excellent set-piece specialists in the form of Javi Hernandez, Sunil Chhetri, amongst others in their ranks.

With a place in the playoffs at stake here, Bengaluru FC should give it their all to pick important points against a higher-ranked opponent this time around.

Key Players to Watch Out

Carl McHugh (FC Goa)

Carl McHugh has been a stellar presence in the FC Goa midfield, shielding the backline, initiating attacks, and being an aerial threat from set-pieces. He has scored once and assisted twice amidst 17 appearances this season.

McHugh set the tempo of the game, averaging 50 passes per match at 76% accuracy, having completed six successful dribbles, made 12 key passes, created 14 goal-scoring opportunities, and won 99 duels so far.

He has made 15 interceptions, 25 clearances, has taken 19 shots, and won 54 aerial duels too.

Overall, his numbers on all fronts have been impressive, and he will have to sustain that level of performance in the final five league games and further on in the playoffs for FC Goa to realize their objectives.

Sivasakthi Narayanan (Bengaluru FC)

The star attacker has slowly been following the footsteps of Sunil Chhetri to assume greater responsibility upfront for Bengaluru FC.

Until now, he has notched two goals in the league this season. He has made 89 successful passes, making five key passes and creating as many goal-scoring opportunities until now.

With six successful dribbles, he has recorded a shooting accuracy of 66.6% and has won 24 aerial duels, in addition to registering 22.22% goal conversion rate.

Sivasakthi has made 21 recoveries, and 13 touches in the box of the opposition in this campaign. He will want to churn out more consistent performances as the season draws to an end.

Read More     https://www.indiansuperleague.com/news/we-are-in-the-position-we-deserve-fc-goas-manolo-marquez    https://www.indiansuperleague.com/news/happy-with-how-we-played-bengaluru-fcs-gerard-zaragoza


Played – 14

FC Goa – 3

Bengaluru FC – 7

Draws – 4

Trivia: Since the start of 2024, FC Goa have made 187 successful passes in the opposition’s half per game, the highest such aggregate of all teams.

Team Talk

“Usually, when you create a lot of chances, you leave spaces in defence. It was one of our main points (strengths) in the first leg of the season, but now we are conceding goals. With the three shots that Punjab FC had on target, it was impossible for any goalkeeper to stop them,” FC Goa Head Coach Manolo Marquez reflected ahead of the clash against Bengaluru FC.

“It’s my second month here. Players are starting to understand what I want from them. We are a big club and we know how it is to play under pressure and we show that in every match,” Bengaluru FC Head Coach Gerard Zaragoza said in the pre-match press conference.

ISL Fantasy

Javi Hernandez (9.4cr)

Has collected 56 ISL fantasy points this season

Jay Gupta (3.5cr)

Has garnered 80 ISL fantasy points in this campaign

Noah Sadaoui (8.6cr)

Netted in the last game

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation ®️ ️5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, which will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at: https://fantasy.indiansuperleague.com/


Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). Fans can also catch the action streaming Live for free on JioCinema, the home of Indian football. In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.