ISL: Second placed FC Goa face NorthEast United in crucial encounter

  • PTI, Margao
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2015 12:48 IST
FC Goa striker Dudu tries to score against Atletico de Kolkata during their ISL Match on Sunday. (AFP Photo)

After an embarrassing defeat at the hands of defending champions Atletico de Kolkata, FC Goa would look to bounce back when they take on NorthEast United in their last home match of the Indian Super League in Margao on Wednesday.

After their 7-0 comprehensive win over Mumbai, FC Goa were looking to register their first ever win against ATK. But, that did not happen as they were beaten 0-4 and as a result, they also lost their top position to the Kolkata team.

Goa are currently in second spot with 18 points from 11 matches, two points above NorthEast United who are placed fourth.

Goa coach Zico said the loss against Kolkata was another learning experience for his team.

“We did not play well and paid the price. It’s second time we lost 4-0 but we overcame that situation when we lost against Chennaiyin FC and went on to occupy the top position in the able. Now that we are displaced to second position we will again rectify our mistakes and try to correct it in tomorrow’s match and win to put ourselves at the top of the table,” Zico said at the pre-match media briefing.

“We must win all our remaining three matches and cannot relax against the NorthEast United whom we beat 3-1 in the away clash if we are to qualify for the semifinals,” he said.

With regard to the availability of injured players - Gregory Arnolin, Luciano Sabrosa and Rafael Coelho, the Brazilian legend said that it will be known only after the training session.

On the other hand, NorthEast United have been quite inconsistent in the tournament till now as they lost their first three matches, but their stunning performance against Kerala Blasters in their last match put them to fourth place and a chance to qualify for semifinals.

A win against the second placed FC Goa will take them up the ladder and give them the much needed boost as they play their last two matches at home against Delhi Dynamos (November 28) and FC Pune City (December 2).

Coach Cesar Farias said he always believed in his team and knew his players would come good at some stage of the league.

“We played well in those three games which we won and there was no reason for us to put our heads down. There were also eight players unavailable because of injuries at that time,” explained Farias.

“It is going to be a tough match tomorrow but our boys are well prepared to face the challenge to come out winners,” he said.

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