All Kerala Blasters needs to do to catch up with Mumbai City FC at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table is a win on Sunday. Ivan Vukomanovic’s boys will not be short of motivation when they take on FC Goa at Vasco’s Tilak Maidan Stadium.
The team is now placed fifth with 13 points. But if it could take three points against Goa, it will draw level with Mumbai (16).
Blasters should be feeling that they could do it and are in form. They may have had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their last match, against Jamshedpur FC, but that was preceded by 3-0 wins against Mumbai City and Chennaiyin FC.
With the talented Sahal Abdul Samad finally starting to convert his promise into goals and Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Peryera Diaz all looking in good nick, the Blasters could threaten any defence.
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And the defence hasn’t exactly been Goa’s strength of late. The Goans will want to put behind them their disappointing effort against ATK Mohun Bagan in their last game where they lost 1-2.
It was Derrick Pereira’s second game since he took over as coach, after Juan Ferrando left for ATK Mohun Bagan.
Pereira had begun with a draw, against Odisha FC. After the loss to ATK Mohun Bagan, he would be looking for a win.
Goa – on eight points from as many games -- needs a win to come out of the bottom half; it is lying ninth in the 11-team league. It may not be easy though against a rival that hasn’t lost in seven games.