FC Goa will look to capitalise on its winning form under Derrick Pereira when it takes on NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League on Friday.
Pereira’s side won its first match under him against Chennaiyin FC in the previous fixture and will look for a similar result against Khalid Jamil’s NEUFC, which beat Goa in the first leg, earlier this season.
The match will have two Indian coaches compete against each other with both having a point to prove with faltering ships under their charge.
"I am happy that Indian coaches are getting an opportunity to lead. If you give them a bit more opportunity and exposure they will flourish more and can prove themself in the highest levels," Pereira told the press.
"The table does not reflect the quality we have. The league is unpredictable but our focus right now is on the next match rather than focusing long term," he added.
NorthEast United, on the other hand, has won just one match since beating FC Goa in December last year and sits second from bottom on the table, without key players Khassa Camara and Federico Gallego.
But Jamil will find solace in the quality of Indian players in the league so far, with SC East Bengal starting an all-Indian side for the first time in the league’s history and nearly getting away with a draw against Jamshedpur FC.
“It will be a good challenge for our team,” he said.
Deshorn Brown, the Jamaican, will be instrumental in front with five goals to his name in the last two matches for NEUFC.
Goa will set its hopes high on Jorge Ortiz, who has scored one goal in each of the last three games, including the winner in its last match.
Pereira’s side will have the opportunity to climb four places and go close to the top four if it can pull off a win, while Jamil’s NEUFC, irrespective of the result, will stay second from the bottom in the table.