Preview: Sergio Lobera eyes sweet homecoming as FC Goa host Odisha FC
Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera is set to receive a warm welcome as he prepares the Juggernauts to take on FC Goa on Saturday.
Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera is set to receive a warm welcome as he prepares the Juggernauts to take on FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Goa, on Saturday. Odisha FC drew their previous match against Mumbai City FC after a comfortable victory against Chennaiyin FC in their opening fixture of the season. The Gaurs kicked off their campaign on Monday with a resilient 1-0 victory over Punjab FC, with striker Carlos Martinez finding the back of the net in his ISL debut.
What’s at stake?
Manolo Marquez will find a coach matching him in calibre, quality, and accolades in Lobera. It will be a face-off between arguably two of the finest tactical masterminds in the league. Marquez will be seeking a victory that can induce significant belief and momentum in Goa’s campaign.
Lobera will be disappointed at failing to seal the win against Mumbai. He has been around in the league for long enough to know that conceding points early on can backfire later on in the season. Moreover, a positive result on the home turf of his former club will be a personal objective for the Spaniard.
Raynier Fernandes (FC Goa)
Midfielder Raynier Fernandes will be up against his ex-employers with a point to prove. He started the season with a timely assist to Martinez against Punjab. Fernandes has an element of sharpness in his game, which when coupled with his creative instincts could add a lot of goal-scoring value to the team.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga (Odisha FC)
Jerry Mawihmingthanga has created an impressive impact with his performances for Odisha this season. With two goals already, the winger is setting up for a potentially career-defining campaign under Lobera’s tutelage. The enhanced alertness from his end to get into goal-scoring positions adds a completely new dimension to Odisha’s frontline.
Played – 8
FC Goa – 5
Odisha FC – 0
Draws – 3
Trivia: Lobera won the Super Cup with FC Goa in 2019. He was the head coach for the majority of the 2019/20 season in which they had won the ISL League Winners Shield.
“I think that if you have a lot of chances during the game, clear chances, finally, sometimes it happens in football that you don’t kill the game by scoring the second goal, and then in the last minute the opposition obviously has chances. But, it’s not the best thing for us to play the way we played in the last 20-25 minutes (against Punjab FC). Because we could score the second goal but they had clear chances to equalise as well. We need to control more of the game. My thinking is that with the players we have, if we control the game more, we will win more than we lose,” FC Goa head coach Marquez touched upon his learning from the previous game.
“I am very happy to be here. It’s special for me to be in Goa. I have great memories with my family here. In terms of the ISL, as I said before, I think Indian football is growing a lot. I am very happy to be coming back to India and to be able to work in a club like Odisha. We are a family. We are people involved in football, spending a lot of time trying to improve every day. I am happy working here and I am delighted with my decision to work at this club with this management,” Odisha FC head coach Lobera talked about coming back to Goa and his fresh challenge with the Juggernauts.
Where to Watch
Viacom18 is the new home of Indian football and the match between FC Goa and Odisha FC will kick off at 5:30 PM on October 7, 2023. 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 SD & HD (English), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), DD Bangla & Colors Bangla Cinema (Bengali).
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.
Top Picks & Players to Watch Out
Carlos Martinez (8.5cr)
Scored a goal in his ISL debut for FC Goa in the match against Punjab FC
Jerry Mawihmingthanga (6.5cr)
Netted once in each of Odisha's two games so far
Raynier Fernandes (7cr)
Bagged an assist by setting up Martinez’s goal against Punjab FC
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