ISL 2021-22: Odisha, Goa looking to climb the ladder

Odisha will be desperate to recapture its early-season form when it takes on FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco, on Friday.

Odisha FC will be desperate to recapture its early-season form when it takes on FC Goa.   -  Focus Sports/ISL

Odisha FC has blown hot and cold this season. It opened its campaign with two impressive wins, scoring nine goals in the process.

It had defeated Bengaluru 3-1 and East Bengal 6-4. But it has also been at the receiving end in a goal-fest, going down 0-4 to Jamshedpur. That was followed by a 1-2 loss to Chennaiyin in its last match.

So Odisha will be desperate to recapture its early-season form when it takes on FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco, on Friday. Odisha is placed seventh in the table and Goa eighth.

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Goa is unbeaten for the last three matches, but it has been in the headlines for a different reason.

Coach Juan Ferrando stepped down and joined ATK Mohun Bagan, replacing Antonio Habbas. The Goan management, in the meanwhile, appointed Derrick Pereira as the new coach.

Goa’s captain Edu Bedia admitted he had been upset by the situation but expressed hopes about the future. “I know Derrick, and he can help us a lot,” he said. “This would be the start of a new journey for us (with the match against Odisha).”

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The new coach said the job came unexpectedly. “I need some time, and I am putting my thoughts into place,” Pereira said.

His counterpart, Kiko Ramirez, expressed concerns about his team’s defence conceding too many goals. “Having a lot of goals in a match may be good for the show and the people watching the game, but not for the coach,” said the Odisha coach.

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